Russia's Supreme Court said Saturday that it has decided to reject an appeal by opposition leader Alexei Navalny and uphold a ban on his participation in the 2018 presidential election.
In February 2017, a Russian court found Navalny guilty of embezzlement at a timber company and gave him a five-year suspended sentence.
Last month, the Russian Central Election Commission denied Navalny the right to run for the presidency, citing his criminal conviction.
Under Russian legislation, if someone is found guilty of a crime, he or she will be ineligible to run for the presidency.
Navalny reasserted his claim of innocence, claiming that the sentence was politically motivated and was simply aimed at preventing him from continuing his political activities.
The 41-year-old lawyer announced his intention in late 2016 to take part in the presidential election slated for March 18 this year.