Russian President Vladimir Putin Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
An advocacy group has nominated Russia's President Vladimir Putin for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize for his involvement in "a peaceful resolution to the Syrian-U.S. dispute over chemical weapons," the Washington Times writes.
International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World, a small-known Russian advocacy group, nominated Putin for the Nobel Peace Prize award, praising him for his involvement with Syria and influencing the country's president, Bashar Assad, to turn over chemical weapons to international authorities. While the group lauded Putin, they sharply criticized the U.S. and made no mention of Putin signing a measure into law this summer that bans "homosexual propaganda," allowing law enforcement to persecute Russia's LGBT community.
"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," Iosif Kobzon, a member of the State Duma, said according to United Press International. "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."
The president of the International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World told the Christian Science Monitor that they nominated Putin because they want Russia to be recognized for global advocacy of peace, national sovereignty and international law.
"I have personally seen Putin's activity, to calm down hotheads in South Ossetia [during the 2008 war between Russia and Georgia] and to promote peace," Georgy Trapezniko told the Monitor. "He himself goes to the hotspots and does his best to resolve problems by peaceful methods. They awarded Obama a peace prize before he'd done anything, whereas Putin has already done a lot to establish peace in the world. He corresponds to all the requirements of the Nobel Prize Committee."
The Nobel Committee says any parliamentarian, government figure, academic or director of a peace or foreign policy institute can make a nomination. Trapeznikov says his group has more than a dozen qualified individuals on its board of directors and that he can nominate individuals himself. The Monitor reports that nominations of the prestigious award opened up in September, and the list will be reviewed and narrowed down through out the year. A winner will be announced in October of next year.
Putin has come under fire by gay rights supporters this year after approving a measure that limits the rights of Russia's LGBT community. The anti-gay "homosexual propaganda" law prohibits same-sex couples from distributing LGBT materials around minors and equates homosexuality to pedophilia. That law outlaws LGBT events like Gay Pride and same-sex couples can be persecuted and fined for simply holding hands. Additionally, the law impacts businesses and organizations that support LGBT rights. Travelers can also be detained if they violate the law and can be banned from the country.
There has also been much concern that the law will negatively impact the 2014 Winter Olympics which are scheduled to be held in Sochi, Russia, early next year.