Russian ship watches Connecticut coast

- FILE - Russian warship Viktor Leonov enters the bay in Havana, Cuba, Tuesday, March 24, 2015. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)

GROTON, Conn. (WTNH) — The Russians are watching the New London Naval Sub base in Groton, from 30 miles offshore. But it appears to be business as usual from outside the sub base looking in.

“It’s a nuisance, but certainly not a threat to the area,” said U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney (D-2nd).

Courtney represents all of eastern Connecticut, and said there’s really no immediate fears for our state.

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“I have a lot of confidence that we’ve got a team in place to make sure that everybody’s safe and the work going on there is going to continue,” Courtney said Wednesday.

Sen. Chris Murphy sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, and condemned the Russian move.

In a statement he called this “…part of a series of aggressive actions by Russia that threaten U.S. National security and the security of our allies…President Trump and his administration must end their silence and immediately respond to these threats to our national security.”

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Matthew Schmidt is an expert on Russia at the University of New Haven and says this is normal operations for a spy ship to set up close to a sub base. Russians spy on us, and we also, spy right back.

“It’s trying to find out what the subs that are leaving Groton are doing, where they’re going, who’s on them, what the missions are,” said Schmidt. “It’s a spy ship. Not going to attack Groton or Hartford itself.”

But taken in the larger context, where a number of Russian provocations have taken place globally recently, including military jets buzzing closely to a U.S. navy ship in the Black Sea, Russia’s actions have taken on more concern.

“Sometimes what you do is poke your enemy, to see how your enemy responds because you learn something in that response. And that’s what (Putin‘s) doing,” Schmidt said.

The Russian ship is 30 miles offshore, so there’s nothing illegal about their move.

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