- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Russian President Vladimir Putin was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by an advocacy group that credits him with bringing about a peaceful resolution to the Syrian-U.S. dispute over chemical weapons.

The Russian advocacy group International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World nominated Mr. Putin, characterizing his forged agreement with Syrian President Bashar Assad — to turn over admitted chemical weapons cache to international authorities — a world-class and prize-worthy piece of diplomacy, United Press International reported.

The group also took a dig at the United States.

While announcing the nomination during a press conference in Moscow, group officials said Mr. Putin deserved the Peace Prize much more than President Obama, who won the recognition in 2009.

“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 Iosif Kobzon, a member of the State Duma, UPI reported.

Conversely, he said, Mr. Putin tries a more peaceful approach.

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“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,” he said, adding that Mr. Putin steadfastly has opposed military intervention in Syria for the entire 2½ years the conflict has waged there.

Mr. Putin, however, does have a footprint in Syria. He’s Mr. Assad’s staunch ally and has sold and provided weapons to the Syrian regime — against the wishes of the West. Critics of the nomination also say Mr. 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.


• Cheryl K. Chumley can be reached at cchumley@washingtontimes.com.

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