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Russian President Vladimir Putin walked off with New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft's diamond-encrusted 2005 Super Bowl ring, but was it a generous gift or a very expensive international misunderstanding?
Following a meeting of American business executives and Putin at Konstantinovsky Palace near St. Petersburg on Saturday, Kraft showed the ring to Putin -- who tried it on, put it in his pocket and left, according to Russian news reports.
It wasn't clear if Kraft, whose business interests include paper and packaging companies and venture capital investments, intended that Putin keep the ring.
"I showed the president my most recent Super Bowl ring," Kraft said in a statement released Wednesday. The Russian president "was clearly taken with its uniqueness," Kraft said.
"At that point, I decided to give him the ring as a symbol of the respect and admiration that I have for the Russian people and the leadership of President Putin," Kraft said.
A senior Kremlin official, Dmitry Peskov, told The Associated Press that Putin had given the ring to the Kremlin library where other foreign gifts are kept.