Germany's foreign minister has warned against relying on "saber-rattling" in the wake of military exercises aimed at demonstrating NATO's resolve to defend members in eastern Europe against a more assertive Russia.

Frank-Walter Steinmeier was quoted by the Bild newspaper's website Saturday as saying that a "symbolic tank parade on the eastern border of the alliance" would not ensure security.

He argued for "embedding Russia in an international partnership of responsibility" through cooperation on arms control and the Middle East.

Some 31,000 troops from 24 NATO and partner nations last week rehearsed defensive operations in Poland and Lithuania. Russia's conflict with non-NATO member Ukraine has led to sanctions against Moscow and more attention to military readiness, but Western governments differ on how tough a stance to take.