Russian Group Nominates Putin for Nobel Peace Prize
A Russian advocacy group with close ties to the country’s government said Tuesday that it had nominated President Vladimir Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize, saying he was more deserving of the coveted award than U.S. President Barack Obama, who received it in 2009.
Members of the group, called the International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World, made to frame Putin as a peace-loving leader intent on diplomatic resolutions. This despite his ongoing war against separatists in Chechnya and continued armament of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“Barack Obama has the title of Nobel Prize winner — the man who initiated and approved such aggressive actions on the part of the United States of America as in Iraq, Afghanistan, some others, and now is preparing for invasion of Syria,” Iosif Kobzon, a popular Russian singer and a member of Parliament, said at a news conference. “I think our president, who is trying to stop the bloodshed, who is trying to help to resolve this conflict situation through a political dialogue, through diplomatic language, deserves this title more.”
The group said it sent a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee formally proposing Putin as a candidate for the Peace Prize on Sept. 16, just two days after Russia and the United States reached an agreement on a plan for Syria’s surrender of its chemical arms.
“Being the leader of one of the leading nations of the world, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin makes efforts to maintain peace and tranquillity not only on the territory of his own country but also actively promotes settlement of all conflicts arising on the planet,” the group wrote.
On its website the group lists among its members former prime minister Yevgeny Primakov and the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova.
Unfortunately for him, Putin will have to hold his breath until next year; nominations for the 2013 prize, to be awarded October 11th, had to be postmarked by Feb. 1.