Some claimed that international politics experienced a small yet significant shift in power structure when American President Barack Obama refrained from ordering a military strike on Syrian forces, instead succumbing to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s plan to allow Syria to become party to the Chemical Weapons Convention. While that assumption may be overstated, the Russian leader has won at least one more battle in his pseudo-rivalry with the American president — he’s been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Obama infamously was awarded the prestigious prize in 2009, after he was elected on the platform of “hope” and “change.”
Putin was nominated by The International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation of Peoples of the World, the longwinded title for a global advocacy group. The group cites Putin’s avoidance of military conflict in Syria as their reason for his nomination, claiming the leader “actively promotes settlement of all conflicts arising on the planet.”
Awarding the Nobel Peace Prize to leaders of military forces is tricky business. Obama received backlash for the award a few years in to his presidency, when it was discovered that the numerous drone strikes he had authorized had resulted in civilian deaths. Putin, similarly, has been involved in wars, and Russia is currently the largest supplier of arms to al-Assad’s regime in Syria.
Although the group has officially nominated Putin, it’s unclear whether or not the nomination will gain traction. Nominations for the award can be submitted until February of 2014, and the winner will be announced next October. Qualifications for the prize include being “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.”
Whether or not Putin receives this award may be irrelevant, but the simple fact that he is being recognized for drastically influencing the state of international affairs says something important about the current balance of power throughout the globe.