Russian spy ship built for eavesdropping spotted 30 miles from a US submarine base

A Russian spy ship spotted about 70 miles off the coast of Delaware on Tuesday has begun "loitering" 30 miles off a US Navy submarine base in Connecticut, according to Fox News' Lucas Tomlinson.

The ship was the Viktor Leonov, an intelligence-gathering ship that can intercept intelligence from nearby transmitters with a variety of sensors, as well as measure US Navy sonar emissions.

"We are aware of the vessel's presence," Lt. Col. Valerie Henderson, a Defense Department spokeswoman, told Business Insider on Tuesday.

"It has not entered US territorial waters. We respect freedom of navigation exercised by all nations beyond the territorial sea of a coastal State consistent with international law," Henderson said.

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US Navy spy ships conduct similar missions near Russia and in international waters around the globe, but usually in waters near US allies.

The timing of this incident coincides with a flurry of news coming out of Washington about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's resignation for having inappropriate conversations with Russia's ambassador.

Additionally, the news broke on Tuesday that Russia has developed and deployed nuclear-capable cruise missiles that violate the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty, or INF, in a move that is sure to draw a response from the US.

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