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‘No direct threat’ as US tracks Russian warships in Cuba



‘No direct threat’ as US tracks Russian warships in Cuba

(NewsNation) — The United States is closely watching a fleet of Russian warships traveling off the coast of Florida heading toward Cuba.

The Pentagon deployed Navy vessels in a sign of readiness as the fleet entered the Havana harbor. It marks Russia’s largest show of force this close to the continental U.S. in years. The situation is unfolding as tensions remain high over the war in Ukraine and support for the war-torn nation by Western countries.

“We have been monitoring the ships’ paths closely as they sailed to Cuba,” a U.S. official told NewsNation. “At no point have the ships or submarine posed a direct threat to the United States.”

A defense official added that Russia’s deployments were part of routine naval activity and that they “pose no direct threat or concern to the United States.”

The warships are just 100 miles away from the Florida coast. In a move echoing the Cold War era, this all could be seen as Russia flexing its military muscles as President Joe Biden takes off for an overseas trip with world leaders, and Putin isn’t on the guest list.

The first vessels to arrive at the harbor were a fuel ship and a tug.

A Russian navy frigate and nuclear-powered submarine waited offshore and arrived by mid-morning.

“The United States is answering the call by increasing its naval presence across the theater and increasing its participation in exercises and operations with allies and partners — to encourage responsible behavior by all,” the defense official told NewsNation. “The Navy’s U.S. 2nd Fleet, U.S. 4th Fleet, U.S. Coast Guard Atlantic Area and Canadian Joint Task Force – Atlantic are conducting routine operations throughout the Atlantic, and we will continue to operate and engage from a position of strength.”

Cuba says the visit is standard practice. Havana, however, is just 100 miles from Key West, which is home to a U.S. Naval air station.

The U.S. Navy is tracking the Russian vessels and deploying air assets to circle overhead. Right now, they say there is no threat posed.

This all comes as President Biden is traveling to the G7 summit, meeting with world leaders to encourage them to keep supporting Ukraine and fend off Putin.

The White House says Biden will meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy on the sidelines of the summit.

The U.S. is expected to sign a new security agreement with Ukraine tomorrow.

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