Russian President Putin Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Image: Russian President Putin Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Wednesday, 02 Oct 2013 11:12 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World, a Russian advocacy group, made the nomination, citing the former KGB officer's bid to dismantle Syria's chemical arms stockpile.

The group, taking a dig at President Barack Obama, told reporters in Moscow that Putin was more deserving than the U.S. leader, who won the prize in 2009, UPI reported

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"Barack Obama is the man who has initiated and approved the United States' aggressive actions in Iraq and Afghanistan," said Iosif Kobzon, a popular singer known as "Russia's Frank Sinatra" and a member of the State Duma, according to Interfax news agency.

"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, in my view, more worthy of this high title."

Members of the group said Putin had steadfastly opposed military intervention throughout the 2 1/2-year-old civil war.

Putin has a footprint in Syria, the Washington Times reported.

He's an ally of Bashar al-Assad and has sold and provided weapons to the Syrian regime — against the wishes of the West. Critics of the nomination also say Putin has led the Russian delegation at the U.N. Security Council into blocking international intervention in Syria that could have prevented the deaths of 100,000-plus civilians. 

The group said it proposed Putin as a candidate for the prize Sept. 16, two days after Moscow and Washington reached an agreement in Geneva, Switzerland, on a plan for Syria's surrender of its chemical weapons.

The Nobel Committee received the nominating letter Sept. 20, group head Georgy Trapeznikov said.

This made it too late for this year's award, whose nominations had to be postmarked by Feb. 1. This year's award is to be announced Oct. 11 in Oslo.

Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the government's ITAR-Tass news agency Putin had not discussed any Nobel nominations with any individuals or groups.

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"The main criterion for the president is his satisfaction from the results of his work," Peskov said.

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