Vladimir Putin Nobel Peace Prize
Nobel Peace Prize nominee Vladimir Putin (Reuters)

Russian president Vladimir Putin has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his diplomatic efforts to prevent a US punitive strike against the Syrian regime over the Ghouta nerve gas attack in August.

A group of Russian activists said that the 60-year-old leader was a much worthier candidate than the 2009 winner, President Barack Obama.

"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," Russian MP Iosif Kobzon, who backed Putin's candidacy, told Interfax news agency.

"Our president, who tries to stop the bloodshed and who tries to help the conflict situation with political dialogue, is more worthy of this high title."

He made no mention of Russia's war in Georgia or military campaign in Chechnya.

Under the Nobel rules only a few qualified individuals, including academics and directors of peace research institutes, can file a nomination to the adjudicating committee, based in Norway.

To meet the criteria, Putin's name was put forward by Beslan Kobakhiya, the head of the Russian-based International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation.

Kobakhiya said that the president deserved the award for the key role he played in the peacekeeping processes in many regions inside the Russian Federation.

Kobakhiya described the ex-KGB spy  as the "person of the year," saying he had proved his commitment to global peace by averting a US-led military strike in Syria, a close ally to Russia.

The Obama administration had planned to strike Bashar al-Assad's regime after his troops allegedly used chemical weapons against their own people in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta. More than 1,400 people died in the chemical assault.

With Russia's diplomatic intervention, the attack was put on hold as Assad agreed to give up his chemical stockpiles. Russia and China had earlier blocked any UN effort to tackle violence in Syria imposing sanctions on Assad.

Kobakhiya said his official letter containing the request was received by the Committee on September 20.

Kobzon said that backers of the nomination had not consulted the president before putting his name forward to the committee. He added that Putin was not likely to comment on the news "because of his humility," Russia Today reported. 

The deadline for nominations for the 2014 prize is February. The prize is awarded to "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".

The last Russian to win the Nobel Peace Prize was Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990.