Europe

German FM warns against 'saber-rattling' toward Russia

  • Members of the U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade take position, during a military exercise 'Iron Wolf 2016' at the Rukla military base some 130 km. (81 miles) west of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, Wednesday, June 15, 2016. Iron Wolf 2016, the part of the annual multinational Exercise Saber Strike held in Lithuania, is running in June in Rukla and Pabrade, two training areas of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. In total, over 5 thousand soldiers from 7 NATO allies are training at the same time in Lithuania this year. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

    Members of the U.S. Army 173rd Airborne Brigade take position, during a military exercise 'Iron Wolf 2016' at the Rukla military base some 130 km. (81 miles) west of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, Wednesday, June 15, 2016. Iron Wolf 2016, the part of the annual multinational Exercise Saber Strike held in Lithuania, is running in June in Rukla and Pabrade, two training areas of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. In total, over 5 thousand soldiers from 7 NATO allies are training at the same time in Lithuania this year. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)  (The Associated Press)

  • Soldiers from NATO countries attend an military exercise 'Iron Wolf 2016' at the Training Range in Pabrade some 60km.(38 miles) north of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, Thursday, June 16, 2016. Iron Wolf 2016, the part of the annual multinational Exercise Saber Strike held in Lithuania, is running in June in Rukla and Pabrade, two training areas of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. In total, over 5 thousand soldiers from 7 NATO allies are training at the same time in Lithuania this year. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

    Soldiers from NATO countries attend an military exercise 'Iron Wolf 2016' at the Training Range in Pabrade some 60km.(38 miles) north of the capital Vilnius, Lithuania, Thursday, June 16, 2016. Iron Wolf 2016, the part of the annual multinational Exercise Saber Strike held in Lithuania, is running in June in Rukla and Pabrade, two training areas of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. In total, over 5 thousand soldiers from 7 NATO allies are training at the same time in Lithuania this year. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)  (The Associated Press)

  • A member of the Lithuania's Army takes part in a military exercise 'Iron Wolf 2016' at the Training Range in Pabrade some 60km.(38 miles) north of the capital Vilnius,, Lithuania, Thursday, June 16, 2016. Iron Wolf 2016, the part of the annual multinational Exercise Saber Strike held in Lithuania, is running in June in Rukla and Pabrade, two training areas of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. In total, over 5 thousand soldiers from 7 NATO allies are training at the same time in Lithuania this year. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)

    A member of the Lithuania's Army takes part in a military exercise 'Iron Wolf 2016' at the Training Range in Pabrade some 60km.(38 miles) north of the capital Vilnius,, Lithuania, Thursday, June 16, 2016. Iron Wolf 2016, the part of the annual multinational Exercise Saber Strike held in Lithuania, is running in June in Rukla and Pabrade, two training areas of the Lithuanian Armed Forces. In total, over 5 thousand soldiers from 7 NATO allies are training at the same time in Lithuania this year. (AP Photo/Mindaugas Kulbis)  (The Associated Press)

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.