Vladimir Putin told the St. Petersburg Economic Forum today that he would have a ring made for New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, Bloomberg reports.
The ring would be designed to replace a 2004 Super Bowl ring Kraft recently claimed Putin stole from him during a 2005 trip to Russia. Putin told the audience that he remembers neither the ring nor Kraft, but he would create “an expensive object, made from a nice metal, with a stone" for Kraft.
While rumors about the ring have been doing the rounds for years, Kraft brought them back into the spotlight last week with comments first reported in the New York Post:
“I took out the ring and showed it to [Putin], and he put it on and he goes, ‘I can kill someone with this ring,’ ” Kraft told the crowd at Carnegie Hall’s Medal of Excellence gala at the Waldorf-Astoria.“I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”
Kraft says he later got a phone call from George W. Bush asking that he say the ring was a gift in a bid to avoid an international incident.
Putin's spokesperson has denied the story. "What Mr. Kraft is saying now is weird," Dmitry Peskov said. "I was standing 20 centimeters away from him and Mr. Putin and saw and heard how Mr. Kraft gave this ring as a gift."
The ring, worth more than $25,000, is currently housed in the Kremlin library along with other state gifts.
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