Russian president and former KGB spook Vladimir Putin has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends VTB Capital Investment Forum 'Russia Calling!' in Moscow, on October 2, 2013 (AFP/Getty Images)
The group that put the Russian president's name forward, the International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World, said in a statement that Putin deserves the award because he “actively promotes settlement of all conflicts arising on the planet.”
The group's announcement made no mention of Putin's track record of human rights abuses or his history of arming violent dictators, including Syria's Bashar al-Assad.
It does, however, praise Putin for the role he played in talking U.S. President Barack Obama out of bombing Syria.
The group that nominated Putin is part of a small cadre of organizations approved to select Nobel Peace Prize winners. Putin’s nomination letter was received by the Nobel committee on Sept. 16, but wasn’t announced until Wednesday.
The letter reads: “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,” according to The New York Times.
Russian MP Iosif Kobzon said he approves of the nomination, comparing it to the 2009 nomination of President Barack Obama.
“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,” said Kobzon, according to Interfax news agency. “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."
Kobzon said Putin had no role in the group’s decision to nominate him.
Being “a modest person,” Kobzon said, Putin, “will refuse to comment on it.”
The Nobel Peace Prize is given 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."
The deadline for the 2014 nominations is in February. The winner will be announced in October, according to The Independent.
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