Russian official argues that EU does not look convincing as Nobel Peace Prize laureate

State Duma Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Alexei Pushkov has called wrong the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union.

"I think that the Nobel Peace Prize should be won by public figures for their courage and pioneering actions in the solution of large international problems. The decision to award an organization for general achievements does not look convincing to me," Pushkov said.

It would be appropriate to give this award to an organization "for particular achievements in a particular sphere," he noted.

"The Nobel Peace Prize given to such a huge organization as the European Union loses its focus and its political significance is eroded," the parliamentarian said.

Pushkov said, though, he understood the reasons the Nobel Committee was guided with when it gave the award to the European Union.

"I understand the reasons for this decision: the award gives the EU political support at one of the most difficult periods in its development," Pushkov said.

"Until recently the EU had been an example of the union of states based on the principles of peace and cooperation," he said. "But the present-day European Union does not look like a convincing laureate: racist feelings and xenophobia have grown in the past two or three years and the shooting spree of radical fanatic Breivik who killed about 80 young people on the Norwegian Island of Utoya was a culmination," Pushkov said.

"Nationalist parties are strengthening, social rights are being violated and the Baltic republics are engaged in the open heroization of Nazi abettors," he said.

"Therefore, I believe that the decision to award the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union causes a number of questions under these circumstances," Pushkov said.

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