The presence of a Russian intelligence ship — Viktor Leonov SSV-175 — 30 miles off the eastern coast of the United States on Wednesday may seem like an instance of saber rattling on Moscow’s part, but the Pentagon and politicians are both downplaying it as routine activity.
“Residents of Connecticut should know that the arrival of the Viktor Leonov, a Russian intelligence ship, 30 miles off of our coast yesterday does not present a direct threat to our physical safety,” said Rep. Jim Himes, D-4th District, according to local newspaper Hartford Courant. However, the representative added it was troubling in light of President Donald Trump’s alleged ties with Russia.
While Viktor Leonov is capable of carrying surface-to-air missiles, a U.S. defense official, on conditions of anonymity, told Stars and Stripes that it was not clear whether the ship is armed. The U.S. Department of Defense said its presence in international waters was not a threat.