Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow October 2, 2013.
Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow October 2, 2013. Photo by Reuters
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Russian President Vladimir Putin, known for his extravagant animal adventures and standing up against the West, could be in the running for the Nobel Peace Prize.

A group of his supporters have announced their nomination of the president for the prestigious prize.

Why Putin?

Beslan Kobakhia, vice president of the Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation Between the World's Nations, says it's Putin's leadership.

"Vladimir Putin did everything possible for the peace settlement in Syria," said Kobakhi, adding that he "led by his personal example in his devotion to peace - not just with his words, but with his actions.

"At the cornerstone of all his life there are no short-term political goals or vested corporate interests of his own country, but only interest in maintaining peace in the whole world."

Kobakhi says if it weren't for Putin, the two-year conflict in Syria would have escalated into World War III.

"It shows him (Putin) as a wise and measured politician who really cares about total peace on Earth, which fully corresponds to the description of a Nobel Peace Prize nominee," Kobakhia added.

The group says it submitted a nomination letter to the Nobel committee on September 16, though the Norwegian Nobel Committee website says the nomination process closed in February.

Putin: World powers on 'right track'

Putin praised global powers on Wednesday as being "on the right track" with a plan to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons and said they could avert military intervention in the conflict if they work together.

Agreement on the plan to eliminate Syria's chemical weapons was reached after U.S. President Barack Obama asked Congress to approve air strikes to punish Syria's government over an August 21 gas attack the United States says killed more than 1,400 people.

"There is every reason to believe we are on the right track," Putin told an investment conference.

Putin said the chemical weapons plan, which has rekindled an effort to convene an international conference to seek a solution to the conflict, could not have been put in place without support from Obama and the leaders of many countries.

"I believe that if we continue to act in such a coordinated way, it will not be necessary to use force and increase the number of people wounded and killed in the long-suffering land of Syria," said Putin.

Russia has been Syrian President Bashar Assad's strongest backer during the civil war, blocking a number of Western initiatives in the UN Security Council and blaming the August 21 gas attack on rebel forces.