LONDON (CBS DC) – Russian President Vladimir Putin is among 278 people and organizations that have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Nobel committee members are meeting in Oslo to begin the process of selecting this year’s prize winners.

Norwegian Nobel Institute’s director, Geir Lundestad says members will add their own candidates and will also take into account global upheaval, like the current standoff in Ukraine.

“Part of the purpose of the committee’s first meeting is to take into account recent events, and committee members try to anticipate what could be the potential developments in political hotspots,” Lundestad said.

Russia seized control of Ukraine’s Crimea after months of anti-government protests ousted pro-Russian President Viktor Yanukovich, prompting the most serious confrontation between Moscow and the West since the end of the Cold War.

The nomination process is kept secret for 50 years, but thousands of people can propose candidates and many announce their picks to the world.

The committee has narrowed its list to between 25 and 40 and it will cut its list to about a dozen by the end of April.

Pope Francis and NSA leaker Edward Snowden have also been put forward as candidates for the Peace Prize.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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