Accusing NATO of "muscle flexing," Russian President Dmitry Medvedev denounced NATO's plans for military exercises in Georgia - at a time when Moscow and the Western Alliance seek to work more closely together.
NATO has responded, saying that Russia is invited to join the May 6 exercises.
But NATO's decision to hold the exercises in Georgia is seen among Russian military and political ranks as a provocative move.
"I think this is a wrong decision, a dangerous decision," Medvedev told reporters in an AP report
In August 2008, Russia invaded Georgia in a short-lived and controversial conflict that has set ripples through the region. Since that conflict, Russia has increased its opposition to Georgia's interest in joining NATO.
NATO broke contact with Russia in response to the August conflict, but has been working to restore ties in recent months. Russian criticism of the exercises drew fire from Georgia's Foreign Ministry, saying the Russian comments amounted to "interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign state and an attempt to dictate its will to international society," according to the ITAR-Tass news agency.
"We will, in the most thorough manner, follow what happens there and take one decision or another," said Medvedev, according to the AP story.
The issue is one that will certainly surface in future conversations with U.S. President Obama, who seeks to better relations with Russia.