Either way, Putin now wants to make amends, though he claims he doesn't actually remember Kraft.
“You know, I do not remember either Mr. Kraft or the ring," Putin said, via the AFP. “They handed out some sorts of souvenirs. But if it is such a valuable thing to Mr. Kraft and his team, I have a proposal.
"We will ask our enterprises to craft a really good, noticeable thing -- so it is clear that it is expensive, made of a good metal, with a rock -- so that this jewel is passed on from generation to generation in the team whose interests Mr. Kraft represents.
"I think that this would be the most intelligent ... solution to such a difficult international problem.”
The AFP reports Putin said that “with a hint of a smile” so it's unclear if Putin is just trolling Kraft or if he thinks the storyline is somewhat silly (either way, here's proof that Putin did have possession of the ring at one point -- though here's one theory: maybe the bust looking over Putin's shoulder is the person who actually took Kraft's ring).
But Kraft apparently was displeased enough by the original incident that he saw fit to mention it eight years later.
"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 then said the Bush White House told him to downplay the issue in the interest of international relations. And so, Kraft called the ring a gift to Putin.
Which Putin says he doesn't remember (with a hint of a smile!!).
At this point, though, will Kraft even want a new ring? Does he need it? Even if it's made of good metal with a rock? After all, even without a ring that can be passed on from generation to generation, the company that Kraft has been keeping lately has been pretty lavish, anyway.