Kraft says Putin stole 2005 Super Bowl ring

Owner had said originally it was a gift, but now says White House told him not to pursue getting it back. Terry McCormick

Print This June 15, 2013, 04:08 PM EST

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft wanted to set the record straight about giving Russian president Vladimir Putin his 2005 Super Bowl ring.

Basically, Kraft says Putin pocketed the ring, valued at around $25,000, after looking at it during a visit in 2005, according to the New York Daily News.

That's not all. Kraft also said Putin commented that he could "kill someone with this ring," according to Kraft's statement to a crowd at Carnegie Hall's Medal of Excellence gala.

“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.“I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”

Kraft said he wanted to get the ring back, but was told by President George W. Bush that doing so might strain U.S.-Russian relations. So the Patriots owner decided to be a, well, patriot, of sorts by letting the ring go.

“‘It would really be in the best interest of US-Soviet relations if you meant to give the ring as a present,” Kraft said Bush told him.

But, Kraft said, “I really didn’t [want to]. I had an emotional tie to the ring, it has my name on it. I don’t want to see it on eBay. There was a pause on the other end of the line, and the voice repeated, ‘It would really be in the best interest if you meant to give the ring as a present.’ ”

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