Putin: ‘Why was Obama Awarded a Nobel Peace Prize’?

Published September 20th, 2022 - 06:36 GMT
Putin: ‘Why was Obama Awarded a Nobel Peace Prize’?
Russian President Vladimir Putin talks to the media following the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) leaders' summit in Samarkand on September 16, 2022. (Photo by Sergei BOBYLYOV / SPUTNIK / AFP)

During a discussion that took place Eastern Economic Forum that was held earlier this month in Russia's city of Vladivostok, Russian President Vladimir Putin criticized the recent Nobel Prize choice of the country's independent newspaper Novaya Gazeta.

Novaya Gazeta's editor-in-chief Dmitry Muratov was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2022, in recognition of his efforts in reporting news despite strict censorship by the Russian government, which was severely more restricted amid the Russian military invasion of Ukraine. 

During the discussion that took place on the 7th of September, 2022, Putin talked about the Nobel Peace Prize and protested choices made in recent years, arguing that "decisions were political overall".

In response, Vladimir Putin told the moderator: "You mentioned the Nobel Peace Prize winners. We are very pleased that a Russian citizen received the Nobel Peace Prize. Yet I think the Nobel Prize committee has devalued the importance of the prize when it comes to humanities."

Putin then added: "As you may recall, and with all due respect to American partners despite disagreements, I had a working relationship with President Obama, but why was he awarded the Nobel Peace Prize? I never spoke about this before but they force me to ask: What did he do to protect peace? [brief laugh] There were many conflicts in different parts of the world while he was president. So what is the prize about? Now they awarded it to a Russian. We know that many decisions taken were influenced by ongoing political events. This doesn't support the credibility of the people behind such a decision. Nonetheless, we are happy for our citizen who received this award."

Online people widely shared excerpts of the discussion while discussing prior Nobel Peace Awards and whether or not they were driven by political motives.

Some commentators mentioned a number of military conflicts that took place during former US president Barack Obama's term in office, including the wars in Syria, Libya, Yemen, and the 2014 conflict in Ukraine.

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