MOSCOW (AP) — Russia's main independent polling agency says it has stopped publishing results of opinion polls on the upcoming presidential election, fearing legal repercussions.
Levada Center was listed as a foreign agent in 2016 under a new law aimed at curbing alleged foreign influence on public life in Russia. Authorities insist that the law does not aim to target critics of the Kremlin.
Levada's director, Lev Gudkov, told the Russian daily Vedomosti Tuesday the agency is carrying out election polling but will not publish results during the campaign because it fears that this could be viewed as election meddling and could lead to a motion to close down the pollster.
Russians go to polls on March 18 to vote for their president. Incumbent Vladimir Putin is expected to win by a landslide.