Russian Spy Ship In Cuba: Warship Viktor Leonov Docked In Havana As Russia’s Spy Base Announced
In this case, the Russian spy ship docked in Havana is operating in plain sight.
“It may have a secret mission, but they’re certainly not trying to hide the ship’s presence,” CNN’s Patrick Oppman reported.
“It glided into Havana early this morning in full view of everyone to see.”
The Russian warship is moored to a pier where cruise ships often dock, although Cuban authorities did not announce the presence of Russia. The previous two visits in February and March of last year were similarly unannounced.
U.S. officials are already downplaying the presence of the Russian warship in Cuba, even though it happens to coincide with the historic U.S.-Cuba diplomatic talks. United States diplomat Roberta Jacobson for Latin America will lead the visit to Cuba, set for January 21 and 22. The presence of the Russian spy ship might raise an eyebrow or two, but it is also perfectly legal.
“It’s not unprecedented. It’s not unusual. It’s not alarming,” a defense official told AFP.
The presence of a Russian spy ship in Cuba may also become quite common over time. This past summer, Russia and Cuba agreed to reopen the signals intelligence base in Lourdes, Cuba, which had previously been shut down due to financial issues. According to Vyacheslav Trubnikov, a former head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service, this spy base will be as important to Russia as it was for the Soviet Union.