The U.S. Coast Guard monitored a Russian intelligence ship that sailed near the coast of Hawaii last week, the service announced Wednesday night.
The vessel was identified as Vishnya-class intelligence ship Kareliya (535), according to the Jan. 11 video released by the Coast Guard. Satellite photos from Jan. 10, reviewed by USNI News, show the Russian vessel coming as close to 40 kilometers, or approximately 25 miles, within the Hawaiian shore.
The Coast Guard continues to monitor the ship, Deputy Pentagon Press Secretary Sabrina Singh said during a press conference Thursday. The Pentagon did not know why the Russians sailed the ship near Hawaii, but Singh noted the “precarious timing.”
Kareliya is sailing in international and open waters, she said.
“We haven’t seen any unsafe or unprofessional behavior and we expect that the Russians will operate within the region in accordance with international law,” she said, directing additional questions to the Coast Guard.
Ships belonging to foreign militaries can sail through the U.S.’s economic exclusive zone, the Coast Guard said in its news release. The service, which falls under the Department of Homeland Security, is working with the Department of Defense to track vessel movement and, if necessary, provide additional U.S. presence in an area where a foreign military ship may be sailing.
“The U.S. Coast Guard is currently monitoring the Russian vessel operating in the vicinity of Hawaii,” External Affairs Chief Cmdr. Dave Milne said in the statement. . “As part of our daily operations, we track all vessels in the Pacific area through surface and air assets and joint agency capabilities.”
Russian intelligence vessels have sailed near Hawaii before, with the Coast Guard tracking Kareliya in May 2021, USNI News previously reported. At the time, the ship sailed in international waters and was not hazardous to navigation.