Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday said he had no recollection of allegedly stealing the Super Bowl ring belonging to National Football Leagues New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.
The New York Post on June 14 reported that Kraft had told a US audience that he had once met Putin in 2005 and showed him the $25,000 ring that team players and owners are awarded for winning the US football league final.
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.
I put out my hand (to take the ring back) and he put it in his pocket,and three KGB guys got around him and walked away, he said using the acronym for the Soviet secret service to refer to Putins security detail.
Putins official spokesman dismissed the story last weekend by saying he was personally witness to Kraft giving the Russian leader the ring as a present.
Putin himself was unexpectedly asked about the incident for the first time by the US moderator of his appearance at a Saint Petersburg forum with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. You know,I do not remember either Kraft or the ring, Putin said.
They handed out some sorts of souvenirs. But if it is such a valuable thing to Kraft and his team,I have a proposal, said Putin.
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 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.
Kraft said at the US event that he had even told the White House he would love to get the 4.94-carat ring back from Putin as it meant so much to him and his team.