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MOSCOW, September 4 (Itar-Tass) - Opposition figurehead Alexei Navalny is to blame for problems and violations, Russian President Vladimir Putin said in an interview with Russia TV's Channel One and the U.S. news agency Associated Press on Tuesday.
“As to where this mister appears, he always leaves traces. As we say, there is always some problem with him: they say he has stolen some alcohol or a distillery there, or he has some problems with a forest, or his companies abroad that he did not declare come to the surface. This is an obvious fact,” the president said.
Putin spoke of the Kirovles criminal case, in which Navalny was sentenced to five years in prison. The president acknowledged that he did not look into all details of this case but noted that the court had already passed other guilty verdicts earlier in the case. “The defendants, to whom the guilty verdicts were pronounced, agreed with the verdicts and even did not appeal them,” Putin noted.
“So this is not the case of an oppositionist being arrested for scolding incumbent authorities. There is something for the court and the law enforcement agencies in general to think about,” the president said.
He noted that “this mister engaged in a quite up-to-date struggle against corruption.” “To combat corruption, first of all, a person should be crystal clean. But he has some problems with this. In this regard, I unfortunately have some suspicions that this is just a way to gain some scores, not a true desire to solve problems.”