MOSCOW — A Russian court docket cleared the best way on Saturday for the potential switch of the opposition chief Aleksei A. Navalny to the nation’s penal colony system, the most recent step by the authorities to silence the person who has turn into the nation’s most vocal critic of President Vladimir V. Putin.The court docket rejected Mr. Navalny’s final potential attraction earlier than such a switch, but it surely stays unclear whether or not or when he’ll go away his cell in a high-security jail in Moscow. He may very well be held there for additional court docket appearances on different pending authorized issues.Mr. Navalny was detained in January upon coming back from Germany, the place he was being handled for a near-lethal poisoning with a nerve agent final yr — an act that he and Western governments blamed on the Kremlin. He returned regardless of figuring out that his homecoming would virtually certainly land him in jail, a problem that gave rise to mass road protests in assist of him. The ruling, which was anticipated, upheld Mr. Navalny’s sentence of greater than two years in jail and set Russia on a collision course with Western nations, which may impose further sanctions on Moscow. On Tuesday, the European Court of Human Rights, whose jurisdiction is acknowledged by Russia, dominated that Mr. Navalny should be launched instantly from jail.The Kremlin’s spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, rejected that demand and known as the Strasbourg-based court docket’s ruling “a severe try to intervene in inside judicial issues of Russia.”In his last argument in court docket on Saturday, Mr. Navalny quoted from the Bible, and stated that prosecutors, the decide and different authorities officers ought to cease mendacity as a result of ultimately the reality will triumph. He additionally informed his followers to not really feel abandoned.“Our system and our authorities is making an attempt to persuade people who they’re on their own,” he stated. Asked on Saturday whether or not Mr. Navalny’s incarceration would make Russian political life too uniform, Mr. Peskov stated that “there may be sufficient pluralism on the Russian political scene” and that “the Kremlin has many opponents.” Over the previous month, Mr. Navalny’s allies have organized two countrywide protests in his assist that drew tens of 1000’s to the streets. The police arrested 1000’s.The poisoning, the sentencing and the crackdown on protesters all signaled a pivot by Mr. Putin to harder-line home insurance policies. Mr. Navalny has been jailed steadily earlier than, however just for transient stints in Moscow, and he has by no means been despatched to a penal colony.Under Russia’s prison justice system, transferring an inmate to the penal colonies is a prolonged technique of journey on a specialised prisoner practice wagon. It can start at any level after a court docket rejects the primary attraction of a sentencing, which occurred on Saturday.The journey can take weeks, with stops at switch prisons, throughout which inmates are typically not allowed to contact legal professionals or members of the family. Their vacation spot typically stays unknown till they arrive. Mr. Navalny can petition the European Court of Human Rights on grounds that its demand to launch him has gone unheeded. Although the court docket can not legally compel Russia to abide by its ruling, the dispute may escalate to the Council of Europe. It may additionally doubtlessly result in Russia’s expulsion or withdrawal from that group.It can be a major breach. Russia joined the Council in 1996, signaling an finish to the Cold War division of Europe on human rights points.Andrew E. Kramer contributed reporting.