Published: Fri, February 17, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Russian 'spy ship' off Connecticut shore

Congressmen from CT are expressing concern over reports of a Russian intelligence-collection ship traveling near a USA naval submarine base off the coast of CT and New Jersey. A Russian cargo aircraft and three Russian fighter jets made repeated high-speed, low-altitude passes over the Arleigh Burke-class destroyer USS Porter, which was conducting what US officials said were routine maritime exercises in the Black Sea. The location, near the US Navy's main East Coast submarine base, marks the furthest north the ship had ever traveled along the US eastern seaboard.

Groton is home to America's submarine base. Certainly, having a Russian spy ship off the northeastern shores of the U.S. may be interesting and something to keep an eye on, but it's not as if the Russians sailed the Northern Fleet across the Atlantic to take up station off Washington, D.C. The ship's actual intelligence gathering capabilities are also questionable.

Russia's vessel is also bristling with surface-to-air missiles and guns. The New York Times has previously reported that the Obama administration viewed the development of the missiles as a violation of a 1987 treaty between the USA and Russian Federation that banned ground-launched intermediate-range missiles. "It's a ship, but it's not the Great White fleet".

The US ship buzzed by Russian attack aircraft has not seen a response from the Trump administration or anyone beyond naval officials.

The Connecticut Congressman who represents the region of the state containing a key U.S. Navy base blasted the Trump Administration over news that a Russian spy ship was just off shore. Or, to be more precise, the giant Russian spy ship that was floating around off the DE coast earlier this week has ears.

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That's because it's not the first time that the vessel was seen off the USA mainland. "It's obvious and clear that [Vladimir] Putin is testing the new administration".

The recent provocative acts by the Kremlin come after four Russian warplanes flew close to a U.S. Navy destroyer - the USS Porter - in the Black Sea five days ago.

Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) demanded that Trump - who suggested on Twitter Wednesday that Obama was "too soft" on Russian Federation - turn his attention to the ship instead of criticizing the previous administration. Also Tuesday, U.S. European Command confirmed that Russian jets had conducted unsafe fly-bys of a U.S. Navy destroyer, the USS Porter, in the Black Sea on February 10.

"Russia is acting like it has a permission slip to expand influence, test limits of reach", he added in a tweet.

It is the first such move by Russian military under Donald Trump's presidency.

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