MOSCOW, Russia – President Vladimir Putin has denied stealing Robert Kraft’s 2005 Super Bowl ring. The chairman of the New England Patriots said in an interview the Russian President took the $26,000 ring during a visit in St Petersburg.
Speaking at a gala event in New York, Mr. Kraft said he only meant to show the diamond-encrusted ring but the Russian president ended up pocketing it. “He put it on and he goes, ‘I can kill someone with this ring!” said Mr Kraft. ”I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket. And three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”
The ring is now on display at the Kremlin Library.
Mr. Putin denies stealing the ring and says it was a gift. “What Mr Kraft is saying now is weird. I was standing 20 centimetres away from them, and I saw Mr Kraft give this ring as a gift,” he said in a statement. ”If the gentleman is really experiencing such excruciating pain from his loss, the presidEnt is ready to send him any other ring he can buy got that kind of money,” said Dmitry Peskov, the spokesman for Russian president Vladimir Putin.
Mr. Kraft said that after the theft he tried to get the ring back but the White House said it was better for American-Russian relations if it stayed with Mr Putin.