This is a recurring pro-Kremlin disinformation narrative about NATO allegedly pursuing a belligerent and hostile agenda against Russia.
Every nation has the right to conduct exercises, but it is important that they are conducted transparently and in line with international obligations.
NATO is a defensive alliance, whose purpose is to protect its member states. During the Warsaw summit in July 2016, NATO has made it clear that "The Alliance does not seek confrontation and poses no threat to Russia". NATO's exercises and military deployments in the Baltic states are not directed against Russia – or any other country. NATO has reached out to Russia consistently, transparently and publicly over the past 29 years.
The claim that NATO is encircling Russia is one of the myths about NATO. Russia's land border is just over 20,000 kilometres long. Of that, less than one-sixteenth (1,215 kilometres), is shared with NATO members. Russia has land borders with 14 countries. Only five of them are NATO members.
Russia has military bases or soldiers in three of the EU's Eastern neighbourhood countries, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine, without the consent of their governments.
See other examples of disinformation about NATO in our database, such as its never-ending provocations, the Alliance's permanent targeting of Russia and Belarus, its role as a US subjugation tool for other countries and its unreliability to defend its members, that the EU is encircling Russia and creating additional conflict zones, while NATO exploits non-existent “Russian threat” to increase its presence close to Russian borders.