Russia Wants Julian Assange to be Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

Russia has joined Australia in championing Julian Assange and WikiLeaks.

Russia Wants Julian Assange to be Awarded Nobel Peace Prize

The Guardian reports that the Kremlin wants Julian Assange to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Gotta hand it to the Russians—they know how to be contrarian. George Bush regaled audiences last week in a Facebook Interview with Mark Zuckerberg, with a story about former president (and all-around badass) Valdimir Putin: On one diplomatic trip abroad, Putin teased Bush about his Scottish Terrier, Barney. The next time Putin saw Bush, however, Putin had a dog of is own. As the big, burly beast came bounding by Bush, Putin commented, “bigger, faster, stronger than Barney.”

Butting heads is like an international pastime for Americans and Russians—a time-honored tradition dating back to the inception of color TVs. From space travel to nuclear arms to kitchen appliances, there isn’t anything we haven’t been able to use as the centerpiece of a gigantic, international pissing match.

So of course it makes sense that WikiLeaks and the question of what to do about Julian Assange would be no different. Of the whistle-blowing site’s latest leak, Attorney General Eric Holder said the US is conducting “a very serious, active, ongoing investigation that is criminal in nature.” Russia, on the other hand, wants to give the man a Nobel Peace Prize.

As The Guardian points out, Russia was initially angered just like most sovereign governments at the leak’s embarrassing details and the put-downs by US diplomats they revealed. The Kremlin has apparently reversed course, however, and Medvedev’s office itself released a memo suggesting “public and non-governmental organisations should think of how to help him [Assange]” and “maybe nominate him as a Nobel Prize laureate.”

Why this reversal? If history is any lesson, good old competitive animosity just might have something to do with it. After all, you might remember that President Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year. In some ways, having the thorn in the US’s side awarded the Prize this year would likely be even sweeter comeuppance for Medvedev than were he to receive the prize himself.

Then again, Medvedev isn’t the only foreign politician championing Assange—the foreign minister of Assange’s native country Australia is also supporting the rogue Wikileaks leader and suggesting the leaks are the US’s fault. Maybe Medvedev just loves seeing a truth vigilante sticking it to the man, just like the rest of us.