Global calls for Zelensky to be nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

‘The veneer of civilisation is paper-thin, we are its guardians and we can never rest’ a group of politicians write while seeking an extension for Nobel nominations

Bevan Hurley
Monday 21 March 2022 14:24 GMT
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A group of European politicians have appealed for the Nobel Peace Prize nomination deadline to be extended so Volodymyr Zelensky can be considered for the award.

More than 30 lawmakers have written to the Nobel Prize Committee to request they extend the deadline from 31 January to the end of March in order to nominate Mr Zelensky and the Ukrainian people.

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“Although we are aware that this is a break with procedure, we do believe it is justified by the current unprecedented situation,” politicians from the Netherlands, Estonia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Sweden, Bulgaria, Romania and Slovakia wrote in a letter dated 11 March.

“From the defiance of the democratically elected Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to the man with tears in his eyes saying goodbye to his family to fight for his country, people all over Ukraine are rising up to resist the forces of authoritarianism.

“Our words of sympathy and support can hardly do justice to the sacrifices they make for the principles of human rights and peace.

“The veneer of civilisation is paper-thin, we are its guardians and we can never rest.”

The call was met with a mixed reaction from commentators on social media.

Author Mig Greengard said on Twitter it would be “weird” to giving the Nobel Peace Prize to a wartime leader, even if he was defending his homeland from an aggressor.

“If Zelensky and Ukraine come through this, having rallied the free world back to the cause of democracy and liberty vs tyranny through massive sacrifice of blood and tears, give them all the prizes,” he added.

An account called Socialist Boomer said he had been impressed by Zelensky’s leadership while defending his country.

“But the idea that the guy continuously calling for a no fly zone aka WW3 deserves the Nobel Peace Prize is wacky.”

The Norwegian Nobel Committee director Olav Njølstad told The Independent they had not yet received the lawmakers’ letter.

“Generally speaking, it is not possible for the Committee to extend the 31 January deadline for making nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize,” he said.

However, committee members had the right to make their own nominations up until the first formal committee meeting, which was held this year on 28 February, he said.

This year’s Nobel Prize announcements will take place in early October.

Last years recipients were journalists Dmitry Muratov, from Russia, and Filipina Maria Ressa.

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