In 2012, the nominees included US ex-President Bill Clinton, German ex-Chancellor Helmut Kohl, the WikiLeaks supplier Bradley Manning and even former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. The prize, however, went to the European Union.
The choice immediately stirred controversy.
Russia Upper House member Andrey Klimov spoke about this in an interview with The Voice of Russia:
"Then why not Switzerland, which hasn’t gone to war for several centuries? And why on earth is Barack Obama among the winners? I believe the Nobel Peace Prize has nothing to do with peace these days. It has become hollow to all intents and purposes except public relations and politics."
Head of the Moscow-based Effective Policies Foundation Dr Kirill Tanayev says winning the Peace Nobel and competing for it are ways to build a positive image.
Professor of political science at Moscow’s High Economic School Leonid Polyakov says that in today’s fragmented post-Cold-War world each of the competing parties and groups sees pushing its own candidate for the Peace Nobel as a political tool. The Nobel Peace Prize no longer marks achievement. It simply indicates who has come on top in a political squabble.