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Russian spy ship docks in Havana ahead of historic Cuba and US talks

By Andrew V. Pestano
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President Barack Obama delivers an address announcing that the U.S. will work with Cuba to normalize diplomatic ties in the Cabinet Room of the White House, December 17, 2014. The measures announced by the administration, include plants to re-open an embassy in Havana and significantly ease restrictions on travel and commerce. UPI/Doug Mills/Pool | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/a16ebe43739bdf132ca479b6f6608a0e/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
President Barack Obama delivers an address announcing that the U.S. will work with Cuba to normalize diplomatic ties in the Cabinet Room of the White House, December 17, 2014. The measures announced by the administration, include plants to re-open an embassy in Havana and significantly ease restrictions on travel and commerce. UPI/Doug Mills/Pool | License Photo

HAVANA, Jan. 21 (UPI) -- Russian intelligence warship Viktor Leonov CCB-175 has docked in Havana on Tuesday, one day ahead of the first official diplomatic negotiations between the United States and Cuba.

The ship's presence was not officially announced by Cuba, but U.S. defense officials said it's not alarming.

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There is a crew of about 200 in the intelligence ship that was first put into service in 1988. The ship also made unannounced docks in last February and March in Havana.

The U.S. and Cuba are set to have talks seeking to normalize relations after more than 50 years of animosity.

Recently, President Obama released new regulations that eased travel restrictions to Cuba.

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