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Russian Spy Ship’s Arrival in Cuba Raises Eyebrows
Jan 21, 2015, 4:28 PM ET
BY JIM AVILA and SERENA MARSHALL
SERENA MARSHALL More From Serena »

The historic U.S.-Cuba talks are under way and they may have attracted a
new addition to the Havana port.

The Russian spy ship Viktor Leonov CCB-175 parked there Tuesday, laden
with high-tech software, radar and 30-millimeter cannon and
anti-aircraft guns, replacing a cruise ship that had been there the day
before.

Normally, the surveillance ship travels up and down the American Eastern
Seaboard in international waters, with its radars pointed in the
direction of the United States.

On Tuesday, however, just as the Americans were due to arrive for big
talks with Cuban officials — the first such high-level talks held in
Cuba since the Carter administration — the ship with reportedly 200
sailors on board was moored.

The radars did not appear to be active — none of them were spinning
around — but the ship’s arrival has many wondering whether it’s a
coincidence or intentional intrigue.

The Pentagon said that it tracks the Viktor Leonov all the time and that
there is nothing to worry about. The Russians said the visit was
scheduled long ago. Today, the ship was opened up for the children of
Russian diplomats. Cubans, who have a three-decade-long dependence on
the Russians, said it felt like old times.

“We have normal relations with Russia,” Raphael Hernandez said. “One
day, when we have normal relations with U.S., we could have an American
ship visiting.”

Serena Marshall/ABC New
PHOTO: The Russian spy ship Viktor Leonov CCB-175 is parked at a Havana
port as the US starts talks Cuba, Jan. 21, 2015.
On Tuesday night, President Obama asked Congress to lift the 50-year-old
against Cuba during his State of the Union address.

Last month, he established more ways for Americans to to the
island nation and announced plans to open trade and full embassies in
both countries.

“Our shift in Cuba policy has the potential to end a legacy of mistrust
in our hemisphere; removes a phony excuse for restrictions in Cuba;
stands up for democratic values; and extends the hand of friendship to
the Cuban people,” he said.

Source: Russian Spy Ship’s Arrival in Cuba Raises Eyebrows – ABC News –

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