Vladimir Putin has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize.
Despite Russia’s role as the main supplier of weapons to Bashar al-Assad’s regime, an advocacy group has put the president’s name forward because the former KGB agent “actively promotes settlement of all conflicts arising on the planet.”
The International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World made no mention of Putin’s ruthless and violent campaign against the separatists in Chechnya or the war he waged on Georgia, but instead points to his efforts to prevent a US air strike on the Syrian regime following a chemical gas attack in August.
The activist group is on the list of those approved to make Nobel Peace Prize nominations and according to the vice president of the organisation, Beslan Kobakhiya, this letter of recommendation was received by the committee on 16 September, he announced on Tuesday.
The letter read: “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,” reported the New York Times.
He told Interfax news agency: “Barack Obama is the man who has initiated and approved the United States' aggressive actions in Iraq and Afghanistan - now he is preparing for an invasion into Syria. He bears this title nevertheless.
“Our president, who tries to stop the bloodshed and who tries to help the conflict situation with political dialogue, is more worthy of this high title.”
The deadline for 2014 Nobel Peace Prize nominations is in February. The winner of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize will be announced on October 11.
The prize is awarded to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses”.
Vladimir Putin did not influence the nomination and according to Kobzon “ being a modest person, will refuse to comment on it.