The Kremlin dismissed the idea that President Vladimir Putin was travelling to Belarus on Monday in order to push Minsk to take a more active role in the conflict in Ukraine, the RIA Novosti news agency reported.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said such reports were "groundless" and "stupid".

Putin was due in Minsk on Monday afternoon for his first visit there in more than three years, as increasing military activity, inspections and troop movements in Belarus, one of the launchpads for Russia's invasion of Ukraine, have spooked Kyiv.

(Reporting by Reuters; Editing by Kevin Liffey)