Kremlin, before election, says opposition leader Navalny not a threat

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 29, 2018 5:11 AM

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Monday it did not regard opposition leader Alexei Navalny as a political threat ahead of a March presidential election and said protests he had organized on Sunday were not that big.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on a conference call that it was unlikely that anyone could compete with President Vladimir Putin ahead of a March 18 election which polls show he should comfortably win.

Navalny has been barred from running against Putin over what Navalny says is a trumped-up suspended prison sentence.

Russian police wrestled Navalny into a patrol wagon on Sunday moments after he appeared at a rally to urge voters to boycott what he said would be a rigged election.

(Reporting by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Polina Ivanova)