In Germany, Ulrike Demmer, a spokeswoman for Chancellor Angela Merkel, told reporters Friday that the German government "views the arrests of activists including Navalny. with incomprehension and great concern".
Alexei Navalny was supposed to go to a meeting of the campaign in the province, when he was arrested by the police.
Navalny was taken to a police station, the spokesperson said.
Alexei Navalny, the Russian opposition leader, was detained by police in Moscow this morning as he prepared to travel to a presidential election campaign rally in a provincial city.
"The old Putin really doesn't want me to peak in Nizhny Novgorod". I ask them why they detain me?
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Navalny, an anti-corruption crusader, has said he wants to stand for president next March, but the electoral authorities have said he is "not eligible to stand for office" because he is now serving a five-year suspended sentence for embezzlement.
"The Kremlin views my meetings with voters as a huge threat and even an insult", Navalny tweeted.
His campaign chief, Leonid Volkov, was kept in police custody in Nizhny Novgorod for most of the day Friday until being released and ordered to attend Monday's court hearing on the same charges.
He served sentences of 15 days and 25 days for organising unauthorised protests. They had been prohibited by the authorities. It has finally been the subject of several lawsuits, aimed, according to its supporters, to hinder his ambitions. It remained unclear whether he would be charged with any crime. The central electoral commission was held in June, unfit to stand against Vladimir Putin in next march because of a conviction of justice for the misapplication of funds.