MINSK, December 2. /TASS/. The West has used recent Russian-Belarussian military exercise Zapad-2017 as a pretext for whipping up anti-Russia hysteria, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said in a televised interview with the Belarussian channel STV on Saturday.
"Not as much the West is alarmed as they try to use our drills as a pretext for whipping up hysteria," Lavrov said.
Moscow and Minsk had beforehand informed of the future exercise the countries signatories to the OSCE Vienna Document on Confidence-and Security-Building Measures, he said.
"As required, notifications were sent and observers invited. Moreover, the invitations went beyond the required limits," the top diplomat said. "Those who were willing came to attend the exercise and admitted that everything was transparent."
"Nevertheless, in the wake of increasing hysteria, our American counterparts along with NATO officials managed to stealthily deploy additional military contingents and military hardware in the Baltic states and Poland," Lavrov said. "The excuse was used though the fears were not in the slightest justified, but as the phrase goes, the case is closed.".