Russian opposition political blogger Aleksei Navalny has told a U.S. television station that he and other opposition protesters will not recognize the results of the March 4 presidential election if Prime Minister Vladimir Putin wins.
In an interview set to be broadcast on the PBS "Newshour
" program on February 29, Navalny said popular protests would continue until demands for political reform and new elections are met.
"We are quite clear that on March 5, Putin will declare himself the president of Russia. In fact, he would call himself a czar or an emperor," Navalny said from Moscow.
"We will not accept this and we will continue to demand political reforms, new parliamentary elections within a year, and new presidential elections within two years."
He added that if Putin "makes certain changes, we will be able to carry out the peaceful transition of power, avoid any violence, and guarantee freedom and security for Vladimir Putin."