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Putin, Navalny nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Posted September. 26, 2020 07:39,   

Updated September. 26, 2020 07:39


Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny have been nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize. The Putin administration is suspected to be behind the poisoning of Navalny with a Novichok nerve agent, a toxic substance that was frequently used by the KGB.

According to TASS Russian news agency, Russian pro-government writer Sergey Komkov said in a press conference on Thursday (local time) that he submitted the application for President Putin’s nomination for a Nobel Peace Prize. The reason for the nomination has not been reported. Russian presidential spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the nomination did not come from the Kremlin but was made voluntarily by a group of writers, adding, “If this decision is made (to award Putin the prize), great, if not, it’s no problem as well.”

Back in 2013, pro-government civic groups and the members of the State Duma also nominated President Putin for a Nobel Peace Prize, citing the role Putin played in resolving the conflict in Syria. The nomination, however, met with considerable resistance from Western countries. They argued that the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad used chemical weapons against rebels and civilians with the military and financial support of Russia. Back then, President Putin failed to win the prize.

Mr. Navalny has been nominated on Sept 17 for a Nobel Peace Prize by Sergei Yerofeyev, a professor at Rutgers University in New Jersey, for his fight against corruption. Professor Yerofeyev said a group of professors at prominent Russian universities nominated Navalny for the prize.

Mr. Navalny, who was found unconscious after being poisoned with Novichok, regained consciousness on Sept. 15. He said he will soon return to Russia after recovery and continue with his anti-Putin movement. The Kremlin expressed its willingness on Thursday to put pressure on Navalny by seizing his Moscow apartment and freezing his bank accounts.

The Western media believe that both Putin and Navalny are unlikely to win a Nobel Peace Prize. U.S. President Donald Trump, who has been criticized by the international community for his blatant “America First” policies, was also nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize on Sept. 9 by far-right Norwegian politician Christian Tybring-Gjedde. “Of course a nomination is not the same as winning,” wrote BBC. It added that Adolf Hitler was nominated for the peace prize in 1939 and the Soviet leader Josef Stalin was nominated for the same award, twice, in 1945 and 1948.

Youn-Jong Kim zozo@donga.com