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.

See photos of the U.S. Navy Destroyer:

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Largest US Navy Destroyer, Zumwalt
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Largest US Navy Destroyer, Zumwalt
BATH, ME - DECEMBER 7: A crowd of people enjoy the view from the dog park deck as The Zumwalt launches from Bath Ironworks at 8:30 for sea trials and heads down the Kennebec River to the ocean at Popham Beach. (Photo by Gordon Chibroski/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PHIPPSBURG, ME - DECEMBER 7: The U.S. Navy's newest destroyer, Zumwalt, sails down the Kennebec River toward the Atlantic for a series of sea trials after leaving Bath Iron Works on Monday morning. (Photo by Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PHIPPSBURG, ME - DECEMBER 7: The U.S. Navy's newest destroyer, Zumwalt, exits the Kennebec River toward the Atlantic after leaving Bath Iron Works on Monday morning. (Photo by Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PHIPPSBURG, ME - DECEMBER 7: Leslie Barker scans the Kennebec River for signs of the U.S. Navy's newest destroyer Zumwalt alongside husband Ken Barker on Monday at Ft. Popham. Hundreds of people gathred at the mouth of the Kennebec to witnesss the ship sail out to sea. (Photo by Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PHIPPSBURG, ME - DECEMBER 7: The U.S. Navy's newest destroyer, Zumwalt, sails down the Kennebec River toward the Atlantic for a series of sea trials after leaving Bath Iron Works on Monday morning. (Photo by Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PHIPPSBURG, ME - DECEMBER 7: The U.S. Navy's newest destroyer, Zumwalt, sails down the Kennebec River toward the Atlantic for a series of sea trials after leaving Bath Iron Works on Monday morning. (Photo by Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PHIPPSBURG, ME - DECEMBER 7: The U.S. Navy's newest destroyer, Zumwalt, enters open ocean after leaving Bath Iron Works on Monday morning. (Photo by Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
PHIPPSBURG, ME - DECEMBER 7: Spectators share a pair of binoculars as the U.S. Navy's newest destroyer, Zumwalt, motors out of the Kennebec River and into the Atlantic. (Photo by Ben McCanna/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)
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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.

See photos of Putin:

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Vladimir Putin throughout the years
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Vladimir Putin throughout the years
P362575 05: A class photo with Vladimir Putin, (fourth row, second from left) dated 1966 in St. Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Laski Diffusion)
368975 01: (AMERICAS ONLY) FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, poses for a photograph in this file photo with his parents Maria and Vladimir Putin in1985 just before his departure to Germany. Putin was sworn in as Russia''s second democratically elected president May 7, 2000, pledging to restore Russia as a great power. (Photo by Laski Diffusion/Newsmakers)
ITAR-TASS: LENINGRAD, USSR. Vladimir Putin seen with his wife Lyudmila and daughter Maria. File photo from family archive was taken in spring 1985. (Photo ITAR-TASS) (Photo by TASS via Getty Images)
St, petersburg mayor anatoly sobchak and austrian chancellor's wife christine vranitzky during a ceremony to name 'austria square' in downtown st, petersburg, austria has pledged to restore the square, future president of russia, vladimir putin, looks on, far left, september 1992. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)
President George Bush meets with President Vladimir Putin at the Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg. Bush was meeting with Putin to thank him for signing the UN resolution demanding disarmament of Iraq. (Photo by ?? Brooks Kraft/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
KRASNODAR, RUSSIA: Russian acting President Vladimir Putin (L) talks to a boy (R) during his visit to the Children's regional clinic hospital in Krasnodar 11 February 2000. Putin arrived in Krasnodar for a two-day visit to take a part in the All Russia Conference on emergency measures to stabilise and develop the Russian agro-industrial complex. (ELECTRONIC IMAGE) (Photo credit should read SERGEI CHIRIKOV/AFP/Getty Images)
Uzbek president islam karimov helping rf president vladimir putin put on a traditional robe, uzbekistan, december 1999. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)
President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura greet President Vladimir Putin and his wife Lyudmila outside of the Catherine Palace in St. Petersburg. Bush was meeting with Putin to thank him for signing the UN resolution demanding disarmament of Iraq. (Photo by ?? Brooks Kraft/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - JANUARY4: Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar (L) pose with their wives Ludmila Putin (2nd L) and Ana Botella before their lunch at Moncloa Palace June 14. Putin said he had no reason to believe the arrest of media magnate Vladimir Gusinsky was politically motivated but vowed to examine the case, which has stirred stormy protest in Moscow. (Photo credit should read SERGEI KARPUKHIN/AFP/Getty Images)
(GERMANY OUT) Vladimir Putin - Politician, Mayor St. Petersburg, Russia - signs an agreement about the marketing of inventions. Second Mayor and Senator of Economics of Hamburg Hans-Juergen Krupp (right) (Photo by Ambor/ullstein bild via Getty Images)
Moscow, russia, outgoing russian president boris yeltsin (r) shaking hands with russian prime minister and acting president vladimir putin (l) as he leaves moscow's kremlin, the seat of russian power,1999. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)
Russian prime minister vladimir putin seen casting his vote during the elections to the state duma, at the polling station #2026 in moscow's kosygina street,moscow, russia, december 19, 1999. (Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images)
N362234 01: (FILE PHOTO) Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visits Uzbekistan President Islam Karimov on August 16, 1999. President Boris Yeltsin announced on national television Friday, Dec. 31, 1999 that he had resigned and presidential elections will be held within 90 days to replace him. Yeltsin said he was stepping down immediately because he wanted Putin to succeed him. Putin, the country's most popular politician, immediately took control of the government and will serve as acting president until the elections. (photo by Laski Diffusion/Liaison Agency)
SEVEROMORSK, RUSSIA - APRIL 7: Russian President-elect Vladimir Putin watches the tactical exercises of Russia's Northern Fleet in the Barentsevo Sea, 06 April 2000. Vladimir Putin spent the night underwater in a nuclear submarine near the Arctic Circle. (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)
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