ARKHANGELSK (Sputnik) — The discrepancy underscores the insincerity of accusations leveled toward Moscow of "aggressive behavior."
"I must say that, first, their activity is much higher than ours by several times. If you look at the number of Russian and NATO countries' planes flying over the Baltic Sea, their activity is several times higher," Putin said at an Arctic forum.
Recently Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called the claims of alleged Russian threat to Baltic states absurd and unfounde, added that Vilnius, Riga and Tallinn are crying wolf when claiming that Moscow hatching some aggressive intentions against them.
The North Atlantic Alliance has viewed its enlargement as an open-ended process, an alarming development for Moscow which has seen the expansion as posing a risk to security and stability in Europe and beyond. Russia has been particularly sensitive to NATO's increasingly close relations with Ukraine and Georgia.
NATO has been increasing its military presence in Eastern Europe and the Black Sea since the outbreak of the conflict in southeastern Ukraine in April 2014, in response to what it considers to be Russia's aggressive foreign policy. Moscow has repeatedly dismissed the Ukraine-related accusations leveled at it, warning that increased NATO activities near the country's borders could undermine regional and global stability.