MOSCOW, Aug. 31 (Xinhua) -- The upcoming Russian military exercises in the Mediterranean are "a normal thing" that is fully in line with international law, Russian Foreign Ministry said Friday.
"Any state has the right to conduct exercises in accordance with international law: either in its own territory, or in the territory of other states with their authorization, or on the high seas, which is fully in accordance with all international rules," Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said at a press conference following talks with his Eritrean counterpart Osman Saleh Mohammed.
Lavrov said that the nervous reaction of the West to the Russian exercises was in line with the "horror story" being spread around the world that accuses Russia of everything that is happening on the planet.
The minister in turn raised questions about the legitimacy of military exercises conducted by members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).
"In the Black Sea, directly off our coasts, NATO countries hold regular exercises and the scale is growing. The scenario of such naval games is obviously aggressive," Lavrov said.
In contrast, the Mediterranean Sea is far enough from those capitals that raise such a big noise about Russia's presence there, he added.
Russian naval and aerospace forces are scheduled to hold military drills in the Mediterranean on Sept. 1-8, in which over 25 Russian battleships and 30 warplanes will participate, according to the Russian Defense Ministry.