Russia Sends Spy Ship to Cuba

It's docked in Havana, without explanation
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2014 2:10 PM CST
Russian President Vladimir Putin.   (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service)

(Newser) – Vladimir Putin continues to be a busy boy in the wake of the Olympics. AFP reports that a Russian spy ship docked in Havana yesterday without explanation. The Viktor Leonov carries 200 sailors and is presumably chocked not only with high-tech weaponry but electronic eavesdropping equipment as well, notes the Daily Mail. Neither Moscow nor the Cuban government of Raul Castro has spoken of the ship publicly, a break from the usual protocol for warship visits.

The visit comes amid tension between the US and Russia over Ukraine, though AFP floats another possibility: It might be somehow related to the current unrest in Venezuela, a major Cuban benefactor. As for that Ukraine tension, John Kerry said today that Russia assured him that it would respect the sovereignty of Ukraine, reports AP. His Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, said Russia's military maneuvers were scheduled long ago and didn't mean that a military intervention was imminent. (Read more Havana stories.)

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