Russian Spy Ship Docks in Havana One Day Before Historic US-Cuba Talks

viktor leonov
The Russian RFS VIKTOR LEONOV CCB175

The NIKOLAY CHIKER was last seen near Havana in April 2014.

Russian ships Viktor Leonov and Nikolay Chiker operated in waters that are beyond U.S. territorial seas but near Cuba, the Pentagon announced last April.

The Russian spy ships docked in Havana today a day before historic US-Cuba talks.
AFP reported:

A Russian intelligence warship docked in Havana on Tuesday, a day before the start of historic US-Cuba talks aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations.

There was nothing stealthy about the arrival of the Viktor Leonov CCB-175, which was moored to a pier in Old Havana where cruise ships often dock. But the visit was not officially announced by Cuban authorities.

US officials in Washington played down the presence of the Russian vessel, saying it was perfectly legal and not at all out of the ordinary.

“It’s not unprecedented. It’s not unusual. It’s not alarming,” a defense official told AFP.

The Vishnya or Meridian-class intelligence ship, which has a crew of around 200, went into service in the Black Sea in 1988 before it was transferred seven years later to the northern fleet, according to Russian media.

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