Russia has asked Nato to cancel or postpone military exercises that it plans to hold in Georgia next month.

Moscow's envoy to Nato, Dmitry Rogozin, described the exercises, expected to involve 1,300 troops from 19 countries, as "absurd and a provocation".

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the exercises would not help develop stability in the Caucasus.

Nato says the exercises were planned before last year's conflict between Russia and Georgia over South Ossetia.
BBC NEWS | Europe | Russia angered by Nato exercises

Nato said the exercises, to be held some 20km (12 miles) east of Georgia's capital Tbilisi from 6 May to 1 June, would be non-aggressive and based on a fictitious UN-mandated, Nato-led crisis response operation. But Russia's ambassador to the military alliance dismissed the claim.