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Russian Spy Ship Arrives In Havana Ahead Of U.S.-Cuba Talks

A Russian intelligence warship has docked in Cuba’s capital, Havana, ahead of historic talks there between U.S. and Cuban diplomats.

U.S. officials downplayed the arrival of Russia’s Viktor Leonov CCB-175 on January 20, saying it is perfectly legal for it to moor at a pier in Old Havana and not at all out of the ordinary.

But the visit by the spy ship and its crew of 200 sailors was not officially announced by Cuban authorities.

The move came as the highest-level U.S. delegation to visit Cuba in decades prepared for the start on January 21 of two days of negotiations with Cuban officials.

Cuba officials have said that the restoration of diplomatic ties with the United States after more than 50 years would not immediately lead to a full normalization of relations.

The former Soviet Union was Cuba’s main patron during the Cold War.

Based on reporting by AP, Reuters, and AFP

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