President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov has refuted American businessman Robert Kraft's claim that Putin stole his ring in 2005.
Kraft, the owner of the New England Patriots, showed Putin his diamond-encrusted Super Bowl ring worth more than $25,000 at a meeting in St. Petersburg, and Putin walked away with it, Kraft told a Carnegie Hall event, the New York Post reported Friday.
But Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov told CNN on Sunday that he personally "saw and heard how Mr. Kraft gave this ring as a gift."
Putin first put the ring on and when Kraft reached out to take it back, Putin "put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out," the businessman said.
Amid subsequent media speculation about whether Kraft had meant to give the ring to Putin or Putin had just taken it, an official from George W. Bush's White House phoned Kraft and asked him to say publicly that he gave the ring to Putin as a present, the Post said.