The U.S. Navy is currently tracking a Russian spy ship spotted off the coast of North Carolina, CNN reported.
The Russian vessel, the Viktor Leonov, was seen sailing in international waters 100 miles southeast of Wilmington, North Carolina. It arrived from the Caribbean, where it was most recently observed leaving the capital of Trinidad and Tobago.
The destroyer Cole is tracking the Russian ship, which is equipped with electronic surveillance gear meant to intercept communications signals. The ship has sailed along the East Coast before, routinely conducting intelligence operations near U.S. naval installations.
The U.S. Southern Command told Newsweek that the U.S. recognizes nations’ rights to navigate international waters. Near Russia, however, U.S. military assets have frequently experienced aggression.
In February, four Russian jets came dangerously close to a U.S. destroyer in the Black Sea. In November, a Russian jet flew just 50 feet in front of an American P-8A Poseidon in an encounter the Pentagon later called “unsafe.”