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Story of the ring Kraft gave to Putin grows

Patriots spokesman Stacey James said Robert Kraft didn’t mean to offend Vladimir Putin.

Jim Davis/Globe Staff/File

Patriots spokesman Stacey James said Robert Kraft didn’t mean to offend Vladimir Putin.

The kerfuffle continues over Patriots’ owner Robert Kraft’s claim that Russian President Vladimir Putin pocketed his Super Bowl XXXIX ring during Kraft’s visit to St. Petersburg in 2005. It’s a story Kraft (right) has told for years, but after retelling it at an awards event in New York a few days ago it prompted a response from Putin. Calling the comment “weird,” the president’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin would be happy to buy Kraft a replacement ring. ‘‘Back in 2005 I stood behind the president’s back and I saw how that ring was presented to him. . . . At the same time, I am aware that this gentleman [Kraft] is feeling such a horrible pain about the 2005 loss,’’ Peskov said. ‘‘The president will be ready to send him another ring as a gift, which [Putin] can buy with his own money.’’ Meanwhile, Russian media is having some fun with the story, treating it as a somewhat less serious matter than, say, US military aid to Syrian rebels (which Russia strongly opposes). Said one commentator in the Russian daily Moskovsky Komsomolets: “It’s a good thing that Kraft wasn’t pretending to be James Bond by slipping the Kremlin a listening device disguised as the ring. As a matter of fact, Kraft looks more like Goldfinger .” Patriots spokesman Stacey James said Kraft didn’t mean to offend Putin. ‘‘It’s a humorous, anecdotal story that Robert retells for laughs,’’ James said in a statement. ‘‘He loves that his 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. In particular, he credits President Putin for modernizing the Russian economy.”

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