Russian navy intel ship lurks near U.S. oil rig in Arctic

Russian navy intel ship lurks near U.S. oil rig in Arctic
Vishnya AGI SSV-208. (Image: Vitaliy Kostrichenko via Shipspotting.com)

[Ed. – The ship is Vishnya AGI SSV-208.]

A Russian intelligence vessel was spotted near a ship contracted by the American Shell Oil Company exploring for oil in the Arctic, sources told CNN on Monday.

Pentagon spokesman Jeff Davis confirmed the sighting to CNN on Monday and said no U.S. defense assets were deployed in response.

“We aware of the Russian vessel Kurily sailing in the vicinity of the Nobel Discoverer,” Davis said. “We recognize the rights of all sovereign nations to freely navigate in international waters.”

The U.S. Northern Command was alerted to the Russian vessel’s presence on Sunday after the U.S. Coast Guard was first informed, the sources said.

The ship was part of a Shell-contracted ship that is exploring for oil in the Chukchi Sea, which is north of the Bering Strait and lies between Alaska and Russia.

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