(RoyalPatriot.com )- Last week, the US Coast Guard said it was monitoring a Russian ship that has, in recent weeks, been sailing in international waters near the Hawaiian Islands possibly to gather intelligence.
In a press release on Wednesday, the Coast Guard noted that foreign military vessels are allowed by international law to freely travel through the US economic exclusive zone. But “foreign-flagged military vessels” like the Russian ship “have often been observed operating and loitering” in that particular area.
The area belongs to the Coast Guard’s 14th District, whose jurisdiction includes the waters around the Hawaiian Islands as well as most of the central and western Pacific. It is the Coast Guard’s “largest area of responsibility,” covering over 14 million square miles of land and sea.
According to the Coast Guard website, the District 14 Commander “oversees 25 operational units ashore and afloat throughout the Pacific,” performing missions in “maritime safety, protection of natural resources, maritime security, homeland security, and national defense.”
In its press release, the Coast Guard said it was coordinating with the Pentagon to track the Russian vessel and provide updates on its movements and related activity to the 14th District.
The Coast Guard also released a short clip of surveillance footage showing the Russian ship moving through waters off the Hawaiian coast.
On Thursday, the Pentagon confirmed that the Vishnya-class Kareliya Russian surveillance vessel was continuing to patrol off the coast of Hawaii but was staying in international waters.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Pentagon spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said she could not say why the Russian ship is there, but called the timing “precarious.” She said the Coast Guard is still monitoring the vessel which continues to operate in international waters.
So far the Coast Guard has not seen any “unsafe or unprofessional behavior” from the ship, Singh said, adding that the Pentagon expects the Russians will “operate within the region in accordance with international law.