Russia's President Vladimir Putin nominated for Nobel Peace Prize
The Nobel Committee will announce the winner in mid-October.
US whistleblower Edward Snowden, Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai are also among the nominees for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.
"The number of nominations increases almost every year, which shows a growing interest in the prize," Geir Lundestad said.
The Nobel committee convened Tuesday for the first time this year to examine the candidate list and will announce the laureate in Oslo on October 10.
As usual, the committee refused to reveal the identity of any of the nominees, but Lundestad said that 47 of the 278 candidates were organisations.
Even though the list is kept secret for at least 50 years, the sponsors can choose to reveal the name of their nominee.
Putin is thought to be on the list, since Russian figures proposed his name in October, citing his role in the Syrian crisis.
The former KGB agent is credited with averting a US attack against Syria by suggesting putting Bashar al-Assad's regime's chemical weapons arsenal under international control.
Being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize is relatively easy, since thousands of people can suggest candidates: lawmakers and ministers, university professors and former laureates.
At their first meeting, the five committee members themselves can add more names to the list.
The committee insists that being nominated does not imply an endorsement on its part.
Putin's chances of winning the prize appear limited given the ongoing crisis in Ukraine.
Voice of Russia, AFP,