Russian President Vladimir Putin denies stealing £16,000 diamond-encrusted Super Bowl ring

Ring was one of many given to the New England Patriots team after they won Super Bowl in February 2005

Russian President Vladimir Putin found time away from chastising the foreign policies of his G8 allies to deny accusations that he stole a $25,000 (£16,000)  diamond-encrusted Super Bowl ring – but offered to buy a replacement anyway.

According to reports in The New York Post, Robert Kraft, the owner of American Football team New England Patriots, insinuated at an event last Thursday that Putin stole his Super Bowl ring.

“I took out the ring and showed it to Putin. And he put it on and he goes, ‘I could kill someone with this ring’,” Mr Kraft allegedly said. “I put my hand out and he puts it in his pocket and three KGB guys got around him and he walked out.”

But the football magnate’s recollection of the exchange has changed considerably since the event in 2005. The ring changed hands eight years ago while Mr Kraft was visiting St Petersburg with a business delegation that met with Putin, at which time he said he gave the ring to the Russian President as a gift.

However, according to reports of Thursday’s gala, Mr Kraft said he had an "emotional tie to the ring" and wanted it back, but that the White House had intervened and said it would be in the interest of US-Russian relations to say it was a gift.

The fumbled handover attracted fresh controversy when Putin’s spokesman answered questions on the incident after arriving with the President in London for a meeting with David Cameron yesterday.

“Back in 2005 I stood behind the President’s back and I saw how that ring was presented to him. All that talk about some kind of pressure that was exerted on him [Kraft] should be the subject of a detailed talk with psychoanalysts,” Dmitry Peskov told The Associated Press.

“At the same time, I am aware the gentleman is feeling such a horrible pain about the 2005 loss. The President will be ready to send him another ring as a gift, which he [Putin] can buy with his own money.”

The ring itself is on display in the Kremlin library in Moscow along with other gifts presented to Russian leaders, where it looks set to stay after a spokesman for the Kraft group released a statement that appears to concede Mr Kraft’s recollection is something of an embellishment.

“It’s a humorous, anecdotal story that Robert retells for laughs,” Stacey James said yesterday. “He loves that his ring is at the Kremlin and, as he stated in 2005, he continues to have great respect for Russia and the leadership of President Putin.”

He went on to say that “an added benefit from the attention this story gathered was the creation of some Patriots fan clubs in Russia”. Mr Kraft’s team has won three Super Bowl trophies in 2001, 2003 and 2004 – a winning streak that seemingly ended when the owner’s third ring was exported to Eastern Europe. 

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Arts and Entertainment
tv
News
Prince Harry is clearing enjoying the Commonwealth Games judging by this photo
people(a real one this time)
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Your picture is everything in the shallow world of online dating
i100
Life and Style
Attractive women on the Internet: not a myth
techOkCupid boasts about Facebook-style experiments on users
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
football
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

PA / Team Secretary - Wimbledon

£28000 - £32000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: PA / Team Secretary - Mat...

Mechanical Lead

£65000 - £75000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Mechanical L...

Nursery Nurse

£8 per day: Randstad Education Manchester: Nursery Nurse The Nursery Nurse wi...

Primary Supply Teachers Required

£121 - £142 per day: Randstad Education Luton: primary teacher Hertfordshire

Day In a Page

The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

The Guest List 2014

Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

Jokes on Hollywood

With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on