MOSCOW — A Moscow court has refused to consider Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny’s suit against President Vladimir Putin over authorities’ repeated refusals to sanction his supporters’ rallies.

The Tverskoy court announced Wednesday it won’t take up Navalny’s lawsuit because it failed to meet judicial criteria.

Navalny has alleged that Putin ordered officials to withhold permission for the rallies fearing a challenge in next March’s presidential vote.

Putin hasn’t said if he will seek another term, but he’s widely expected to run. Navalny has said he intends to join the race even though a criminal conviction that he calls politically motivated bars him from running.

The anti-corruption crusader has organized a grassroots campaign to support his presidential bid and staged waves of protests this year to raise pressure on the Kremlin.

Author photo
The AP is one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering. AP is neither privately owned nor government-funded; instead, as a not-for-profit news cooperative owned by its American newspaper and broadcast members, it can maintain its single-minded focus on newsgathering and its commitment to the highest standards of objective, accurate journalism.