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Kit Bag

Vladimir Putin prepared to ring the changes

The National staff   |  June 24, 2013

Vladimir Putin cannot recall anything about a ring. Andrey Rudakov / Bloomberg
Vladimir Putin cannot recall anything about a ring. Andrey Rudakov / Bloomberg

Vladimir Putin, the Russian president, says he has no recollection of meeting the American football club owner Robert Kraft, let alone allegedly stealing from him a Super Bowl ring, but has offered to replace it.

The New York Post reported that the New England Patriots owner Kraft told a US audience that he met Putin in Saint Petersburg in 2005 and showed him the 4.94-carat, diamond-encrusted ring, valued at US$25,000 (Dh92,000), that was awarded to players and staff for winning the Super Bowl over the Philadelphia Eagles earlier in the year.

Kraft said Putin took the ring in his hands and then slipped it in his pocket after first joking that “I could kill someone with this ring”.

Kraft said he reached out to take back the ring, but Putin walked away with “three KGB guys around him”.

“You know, I do not remember either Mr Kraft or the ring,” Putin said at a forum with the German chancellor Angela Merkel.

“They handed out some sorts of souvenirs.

“But if it is such a valuable thing to Mr Kraft and his team, I have a proposal.

“We will ask our enterprises to craft a really good, noticeable thing – so it is clear that it is expensive, made of a good metal, with a rock – so that this jewel is passed on from generation to generation in the team whose interests Mr Kraft represents.

“I think that this would be the most intelligent … solution to such a difficult international problem,” Putin said, with a hint of a smile.

The ring is reportedly being kept in a special Kremlin library reserved for other gifts and Russian treasures.

– Agence France-Presse