I should add emphasis on the word, “almost.”

Although thousands of Russian troops recently crossed the border into the Ukrainian Crimean region, Russian President Vladimir Putin remains on the docket as one of this year’s 278 Nobel Peace Prize nominees.

Via Yahoo! News:

Putin’s name was first put forward for the prestigious prize in October by an advocacy group, citing his role in preventing a US air raid on the Syrian regime following a chemical attack on its citizens last August.

The Norwegian Nobel Institute has now announced there are a record 278 candidates for this year’s prize, 47 of which are organisations, with Putin remaining a potential winner.

The committee gathered for the first time this year to discuss the nominations. During the meeting, the members added their own proposals as well as discussing conflicts round the world before the winner is announced on 10 October.

It is believed the crisis in Ukraine and neighbouring Crimea will be high on the Institute’s agenda.

“Part of the purpose of the committee’s first meeting is to take into account recent events, and committee members try to anticipate what could be the potential developments in political hotspots,” said the Norwegian Nobel Institute’s director, Geir Lundestad.

There has been a tense standoff between Russia and the Ukraine after Putin deployed forces in Crimea following the ousting of Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovich on 22 February.

The move has also increased tensions between Russia and the US to heights not seen since the end of the Cold War.

Call me old fashioned, but being responsible for a return to Cold War era tensions does not seem like a move in the direction of peace. This isn’t the first time in recent years, however, that a nominee’s actions haven’t quite lived up to the standards the title of the award suggests.

In 2009, President Barack Obama had all of 11 days in office before the deadline for nominations was reached for that year. Still, the Norwegian Nobel Committee extended the award to President Obama in October, which he accepted.

I certainly don’t expect Putin to win the Nobel Prize, especially given that the likes of Malala Yousafzai are in contention this year as well.

That said, even the mere nomination will likely be seen as a snub to the plight of the Ukrainian people.


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