Russian leader Vladimir Putin has reportedly joined President Donald Trump as a dark horse candidate for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.
According to Newsweek, the state-owned Russian news agency Tass made the announcement and insisted the Russian government wasn't responsible for nominating its own strongman.
A collective of Russian public figures including writer Sergey Komkov were reportedly behind Putin's nomination. It's unclear what the former KGB agent - who annexed a neighboring country, is credibly accused of tampering in U.S. elections and has seen his adversaries poisoned - was nominated for doing.
The Nobel Committee does not disclose its nominees, but Komkov told Russian news agency RIA Novosti that his submission was received by officials in Oslo, Norway, on Sept. 10.
Putin rival Alexey Navalny, who this week left a Berlin hospital where he was recovering from an alleged assassination attempt utilizing the Soviet-era poison novichok, was also reportedly nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by professors in Russia.
The Kremlin has expressed skepticism over the alleged poisoning, despite insistence from NATO and German officials that the nerve agent consumed by the anti-corruption activist kicked-in during a flight from Siberia to Moscow. President Trump has not acknowledged that finding, instead suggesting the world turn its attention to goings-on in China.
More than 300 people were nominated for the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize, which the Nobel Committee makes clear should not be mistaken for an honor, in it of itself.
"Any person or organization can be nominated by anyone eligible to nominate," committee guidelines state.
Nominations come from university chancellors, professors from multiple areas of academia, politicians and individuals and organizations with ties to past award recipients.
"The Norwegian Nobel Committee has no say in submissions that arrives according to the criteria, strictly in who is actually awarded the prize in October," the committee says. "To simply be nominated is therefore not an endorsement or extended honor to imply affiliation with the Nobel Peace Prize or its related institutions."