WASHINGTON — A Russian spy ship is patrolling off the coast of Hawaii but has so far remained in international waters, the Pentagon said Thursday.
While the appearance of a Russian surveillance ship along the US coast is not uncommon, this vessel has attracted more attention due to heightened tensions between the US and Russia over Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and veiled threats to use nuclear weapons.
The Vishnya-class surveillance vessel Kareliya has been under surveillance in recent weeks by the U.S. Coast Guard sailing near Hawaii.
“I can’t say why the Russians are sailing the ship now, it’s quite uncertain timing,” said Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh. She said the Coast Guard is still monitoring the ship, which is operating in international waters.
“We have not seen any unsafe or unprofessional behavior and we expect the Russians to operate in the region in accordance with international law,” Singh said.
In a video posted to Twitter by the Coast Guard, the ship appears to be towed by another vessel or in a supply mode.
“The U.S. Indo-Pacific Command is monitoring Russian vessels operating in international waters in the Western Pacific,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “Since Russia operates in the region, it is expected to do so in accordance with international law.”