New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft told his side of the story behind Russian President Vladimir Putin’s acquisition of his Super Bowl ring worth more than $25,000 in a statement on June 13.
According to Kraft, he took out the ring and showed it to Putin, who proceeded to admire the ring and put it in his pocket. Kraft said the 4.94-carat bauble ring was a gift at the time, but is now recanting his statement and saying that Putin stole the item.
The White House tried to manage the situation when Kraft asked for the ring back from Putin. Kraft said he’d gotten a call from then President George W. Bush, who told him, “It would really be in the best interest of U.S.-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present.”
Kraft said the incident happened when Citigroup former chief executive and chairman Sanford Weill and other business executives were in St. Petersburg.
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