After signing and defending two laws which single out gays for discrimination, Russian President Vladimir Putin has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

According to Reuters, a group of former politicians and academics are calling on the Nobel Committee to award the Peace Prize to Putin.

Beslan Kobakhiya, vice president of the Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation Between the World's Nations, told reporters that Putin's leadership makes him a strong candidate.

“Vladimir Putin did everything possible for the peace settlement in Syria,” Kobakhiya said. “He led by his personal example and his devotion to peace. Not just with his words but with his actions. At the cornerstone of all his life there are no short-term political goals or vested corporate interests of his own country. His only interest is maintaining peace in the whole world.”

State Duma MP Isosif Kobzon said that Putin was more deserving of the prize than President Barack Obama, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.

“Barack Obama is the man who has initiated and approved the United States' aggressive actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, now he is preparing for an invasion into Syria,” the Interfax news agency quoted Kobzon as saying. “He bears this title nevertheless. Our president, who tries to stop the bloodshed and who tries to help the conflict situation with political dialogue, is in my view more worthy of this high title.”

Over the summer, Putin signed laws which prohibit gay and lesbian couples from adopting Russian-born children and the public promotion of gay rights where minors might be present, effectively shutting down public demonstrations of support. Russia's “gay propaganda” law has provoked worldwide protests and calls for a boycott of the upcoming Winter Games in Sochi.

Last month, Putin reacted to the protests, many of which were directed at him, arguing that the law is “no infringement on the rights of sexual minorities.”

He added that “gay marriages don't produce children” and that he cannot be homophobic because he has awarded gays “state prizes or decorations for their achievements in various fields.”

(Related: Vladimir Putin says anti-gay law isn't discrimination, and gays can't reproduce.)