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Nobel Peace Prize to be Awarded Amid Increasing Tension in Europe

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This Friday in Norway, the Nobel Peace Prize will once more be awarded. The award is given in the midst of the tensest standoff in Europe in more than 70 years.

The ongoing hostility between the two nations makes this year’s Nobel Peace Prize one of the most significant and challenging ever. Consequently, the Norwegian committee found it challenging to choose the winner of one of the most prized honors on the globe.

Being awarded the Nobel Prize carries a lot of responsibility since it represents courage and optimism in the face of uncertainty, especially during turbulent times. But, according to experts, a number of circumstances would make the Nobel Peace Prize announcement ambiguous.

Dan Smith, director of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), said, “Sometimes, it’s hard to figure out who might get the prize because there are so many possible candidates.”

“This year, it’s hard to figure out who might get the prize because there’s so little good that is happening in the world of peace and security.”

Of all, the Nobel Prize is incredibly unexpected, and anyone might win the distinction. Therefore, the screening committee that evaluates applicants for the honor has maintained a secret. Experts in peace and security undoubtedly have candidates in mind who may win the prize, but even they are dubious because the selection committee’s decision-making procedure is unknown.

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The war between Ukraine and Russia

The Nobel Peace Prize was not awarded to any contender during the First and Second World Wars. Additionally, the reward has occasionally not been awarded at all. However, traditionally, the Nobel Prize was awarded when there was little hope or when several nations were struggling due to war.

And those who choose the prize laureate would have to make a critical choice given the current geopolitical circumstances in Europe. The reward will represent fostering peace, and as such, it will significantly impact their thoughts.

Several analysts have Volodymyr Zelensky, the president of Ukraine, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees on their radar (UNCHR). Both have made a significant contribution to helping those in need. While the commissioner has aided displaced individuals due to conflict, Volodymyr is a figurehead who protects his people from Russian attacks.

“Zelensky is a war leader, and what is happening at the moment is war. You can admire or not admire the action he’s undertaking, but it’s about war and the armed defense of his country. That’s a fact that should be respected in and of itself,” added Smith.

“Hopefully, the war will come to an end, and they will make peace. If Zelensky or somebody else can contribute to making that peace, then there will be time to acknowledge that enormous achievement.”

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Russian critics might be considered

Due to the harsh treatment of its smaller neighbor by Russia, critics of Putin’s government may be in line to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, according to analysts. Alexey Navalny is one example who has subsequently spoken out against Russia’s policy and its conflict with Ukraine. It led to the imprisonment of Navalny. In addition, he was poisoned in 2020, and Navalny publicly assigned responsibility to the Russian government.

“Navalny, I think, is heroic, (but) he’s a political leader. It’s a prize that is to be awarded not for how great you are but for how great the things you’ve done are,” said Smith.

Another person who might be nominated for the Nobel prize is Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya, an opposition leader in Belarus who campaigned against Putin’s staunch friend.

“Both Tsikhanouskaya and Navalny are vocal critics of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. A shared Nobel Peace Prize between them would be seen as a clear protest of the Russian aggression and the assistance by Belarus, and as support of democratic and non-violent alternatives to Lukashenko and Putin.”

Photo Credit: Geir Anders Rybakken Ørslien

Source: CNN

Opinions expressed by Economic Insider contributors are their own.

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