U.S. officials have stated that a Russian spy ship has been labeled as operating in an “unsafe manner” in international waters off the southeastern coast of the U.S.
According to the official Russian surveillance ship, Viktor Leonov has been sailing just off the coast of South Carolina and Florida for the past several days. Though the Russian vessel has been regularly patrolling international waters along America’s coast since 2015, the ship’s actions over the past few days have been determined as “unsafe.”
The official stated that the vessel is not using running lights in low visibility weather and that it is not responded to calls from commercial vessels that needed to determine its position in order to avoid a collision. The official then added that the Viktor Leonov has also engaged in “other erratic maneuvers.”
A spokesperson for the Coast Guard told CNN that it was broadcasting a “marine safety information bulletin” to alert other ships in the area of the Russian vessel’s presence as well as its behavior.
Another official told CNN that the Navy’s USS Mahan, an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer, was not far from the Viktor Leonov.
This odd behavior by the Russian vessel near the East Coast comes on the heels of a U.S. vessel making a scheduled port visit to Constanta, Romania, on Monday. The stop was made to increase the U.S.’s presence in the Black Sea, which is an area that Russia has recently increased its military presence.