Maduro Backs Putin's Nomination for Nobel Prize

Maduro (center) and Putin met as recently as July 2013, at a summit in Moscow. S. Porter

Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro said that President Vladimir Putin's efforts to prevent a strike on Syria make the Russian leader deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize.

"If anyone deserves the Nobel Peace Prize at this historic moment in time it is President Vladimir Putin, who helped stop a war that would have destroyed the lives of many who deserve to live in peace, like those of the Syrian people," Maduro said Tuesday on state television.

Putin's candidacy for the prize, which was put forward Tuesday by an obscure Russian public academy, has been supported by several State Duma deputies, RIA Novosti reported.

Maduro said Saturday that the head of Venezuela's parliament, Diosdado Cabello, will personally hand Putin a letter during a state visit to Moscow this week congratulating the president on "the role he plays in building a new world without wars."

The Nobel Peace Prize committee has not yet commented on Putin's nomination, citing its nondisclosure policy as the reason to keep the nominees' names secret until the official disclosure date on Oct. 11.

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