In a telephone conversation with French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday, Russian President Vladimir Putin described US military exercises and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in the Black Sea as "provocative."

Iran PressEurope: The Kremlin said in a statement that during his talks with Macron, Putin noted the provocative nature of US and NATO military drills in the Black Sea.

The Black Sea is the main arena of confrontation between Russia and the West.

NATO's naval units are constantly patrolling the Black Sea, holding annual exercises off the coasts of Georgia and Ukraine in which Russia is considered the ultimate enemy.

Putin also stressed the need for direct talks between EU and Belarusian leaders aimed at easing tensions on the Belarusian-Polish border due to the refugee crisis.

According to the Kremlin, the two sides agreed to reduce tensions on the Belarusian-Polish border.

According to the Kremlin statement, Putin also criticized Ukraine for the "recent use" of drones in its conflict with pro-Russia rebels.

Last month, Kiev released footage of what it said was its first use of the Turkish-made TB2 Bayraktar drone against separatists.

Putin said this violates peace agreements signed in Minsk in 2015. 219