President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and his fellow Ukrainians have been nominated to receive this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
A total of 36 current and former European politicians sent a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee and asked that the Jan. 31 nomination deadline for the prize be extended so that Zelenskyy and the Ukrainian people can be considered.
"We believe that now is the time to show the people of Ukraine that the world is on their side," the March 11 letter to the committee said. "We therefore humbly call upon you, the Committee, to consider: Extending and thereby re-opening the nomination procedure for the Nobel Peace Prize until March 31, 2022 to allow for a Nobel Peace Prize nomination for President Zelensky and the people of Ukraine."
The Nobel Committee has not said if it will extend the deadline.
"Although we are aware that this is a break with procedure, we do believe that this break is justified by the current unprecedented situation," the letter said. "It is our democratic duty to stand up to authoritarianism and to support a people fighting for democracy and their right to self-government."
Zelenskyy has earned worldwide praise for standing up to Russia and rallying his countrymen following President Vladimir Putin's unprovoked attack on Ukraine that began Feb. 24.
"The world is shocked by the images of war coming from Ukraine. Millions of families are now living in fear, their homes and livelihoods threatened by bombardments and an invasive army," the letter said. "We are witness to the courage of the people of Ukraine withstanding this war waged upon them by the Russian Federation.
"Brave Ukrainian men and women are fighting to preserve democracy and self-government. From the defiance 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."
This year's Nobel Prize announcements will occur from Oct. 3–10.
Former White House adviser Jared Kushner, who led negotiations on the Abraham Accords, and NBA player Enes Kanter Freedom, who has denounced the Chinese Communist Party's treatment of the Uyghurs, are among those nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
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