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Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday that opposition leader Alexei Navalny was Washington’s pick for the Russian presidency, which was why the United States had complained about Navalny not being allowed to run for office, TASS reported.

By criticizing Russia over the denial of registration for the presidential race to the oppositionist Alexei Navalny the US made a blunder, as it unveiled its support for this individual, Putin said at a meeting with the editors-in-chief of printed media and news agencies.

"The individual I mentioned [Navalny] isn't the only one who was denied registration but for some reason they [the Americans] didn't mention others." Putin said. "This obviously exposes the preferences of the US Administration and other foreign governments and makes clear whom they would like to promote to Russia's political sphere and to see as Russian leaders."

"They made a blunder in this sense," he said. "They had better kept silent."

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