LONDON, June 16 (R-Sport) – Vladimir Putin’s spokesperson denied Sunday that the Russian president stole a Super Bowl ring belonging to New England Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft and added that Putin is prepared to send Kraft a replacement worth the same amount of money.
Kraft told an awards gala in New York on Thursday that Putin swiped the 124-diamond ring during a 2005 meeting in St. Petersburg. Kraft's account disputes the story he gave eight years ago when he said he handed the ring over as a gift.
“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 said Thursday, according to the New York Post. “I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”
Putin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov reiterated Sunday that Kraft gave the ring willingly and witnessed the presentation with his own eyes. He dismissed Kraft’s story as “weird.”
“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 for that kind of money,” Peskov said from London, where Putin met with British Prime Minister David Cameron on Sunday.
The ring, which Peskov said is stored in the Kremlin’s library, is believed to be worth upwards of $15,000.
At the awards gala, Kraft told the audience he fabricated the story about gifting the ring after he received a call from the White House explaining that any accusations of thievery inside the Kremlin could spoil relations between the United States and Russia.