Russian submarine spotted near west coast of Scotland

Kazan submarine arrives in cuba
Kazan arrived in Havana for military drills this weekend [Reuters]

A Russian submarine that is currently in Cuba was spotted off Scotland's west coast before it arrived in Havana last week.

The sighting of Kazan, which did not enter UK waters, prompted the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to brief the prime minister.

It was identified by an RAF Poseidon P8 anti-submarine aircraft as it passed Ireland on 5 June.

The Royal Navy said it routinely monitors waters around the UK to "deter malign activity".

Kazan arrived in Havana along with a number of Russian vessels for a military drill in the Caribbean over the weekend.

They have been seen as a show of force amid Moscow's tensions with the west over the war in Ukraine.

US officials played down the presence of the vessels some 90 miles (145km) from Florida, saying they were no threat.

HM Naval Base Clyde at Faslane, on Scotland's west coast, is home to the UK's nuclear submarines as well as other Royal Navy vessels.

A Royal Navy spokesperson said: “The Royal Navy routinely monitors UK territorial waters and the adjacent sea areas to ensure compliance with maritime law, to deter malign activity and to protect our national interests.”

A US intelligence officer told CBS, BBC's North American partner, that Kazan was not carrying nuclear weapons.

Cuba's Foreign Ministry identified the other Russian ships as the frigate Admiral Gorshkov, the fleet oil tanker Pashin and the salvage tug Nikolai Chiker.

Russia's defence ministry said Admiral Gorshkov and Kazan are both carriers of advanced weapons, including hypersonic missiles Zircon. They earlier conducted missile drills in the Atlantic.

Russia has sent warships to Cuba in the past and the two nations are long-standing allies.

The US is closely monitoring the latest visit.