Vladimir Putin and Robert Kraft are in a back and forth over a Super Bowl XXXIX ring. (AFP Photo)
A spokesman for Russian President Vladimir Putin said Sunday that New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft's version of a story in which his Super Bowl XXXIX ring ended up in Putin's hands is "weird."
Last week, Kraft told a crowd at Carnegie Hall that Putin stole Kraft's Super Bowl ring during a 2005 meeting, according to the New York Post.
“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 told the crowd at Carnegie Hall’s Medal of Excellence gala at the Waldorf-Astoria, according to the Post.“I put my hand out and he put it in his pocket, and three KGB guys got around him and walked out.”
The Post reported that when Kraft wanted the ring back, the White House intervened and said it would be in the best interest of U.S.-Russian relations to frame the ring as a gift. Kraft said he played along with the White House's wishes.
But Putin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that version of the story is "weird" and not true. Peskov told CNN that Kraft gave Putin the ring as a gift.
"What Mr. Kraft is saying now is weird," Peskov said. "I was standing 20 centimeters away from him and Mr. Putin and saw and heard how Mr. Kraft gave this ring as a gift."
Peskov told CNN that the 4.94-carat ring now is located at the Kremlin's library. A spokesman for The Kraft Group released a statement on Sunday saying that Kraft often tells the story as a humorous anecdote.
"He loves that the ring is at the Kremlin and, as he stated back in 2005, he continues to have great respect for Russia and the leadership of President Putin," the spokesman, Stacey James, told CNN.