ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, June 21 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said Friday he would replace New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft's Super Bowl ring with a "really good" Russian-made ring.
"If it has such great value for Mr. Kraft and his team, I will ask our enterprises to make a really good and remarkable" ring to replace the one Kraft may or may not have presented to him as a gift in 2005, Putin told reporters at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Putin said the ring would be, "clearly visible that it is expensive and made of a good metal, and has a rock, for the item to be passed on from generation to generation."
Kraft owner of the New England Patriots turned his Super Bowl ring over to Putin during a visit to St. Petersburg, saying at the time it was a gift to the Russian leader. But Kraft told an audience in New York last week had was merely showing the 124-karat ring to Putin, who tucked it in his pocket and walked off with "three KGB guys" watching his back.
Kraft said he had not intended to give the ring to Putin but has been pressured by the White House to let the incident pass in the interests of diplomatic harmony.
Putin said Friday he did not recall meeting Kraft or receiving the ring, which Moscow has said is kept in a Kremlin library.