WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden’s long-standing affection for the gold-rimmed aviator Ray-Bans was manifested this week when he gifted Russian President Vladimir Putin a personalized pair of aviators, an official says of the White House.
This isn’t the only gift Biden gave his Russian counterpart. Putin also received a crystal sculpture of an American bison.
The sculpture was made by Steuben Glass of New York, and Randolph USA made the aviators.
The bison is the national mammal of the United States
“In Russia, over the past 20 years, European bison have been reintroduced by rewilding many sites after their extinction in 1927,” the official said.
Biden has been a frequent fan of aviators, often seen wearing Ray-Bans at White House receptions.
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Gifts are a long-standing tradition
Gifts between heads of state are an age-old tradition, according to the National Archives. Gifts are considered a gesture of friendship, cooperation and diplomacy.
At the G-7 summit, Biden gave British Prime Minister Boris Johnson a bespoke bike. Bilenky Cycle Works told the Washington Post that the State Department paid $ 1,800 for the bike, which normally costs $ 6,000. Johnson presented Biden with a photograph of a Fredrick Douglass mural. The photo was taken by Melissa Highton.
Biden met Putin at a one-day summit in Geneva on Wednesday. Biden called the interview “good, positive” as he appeared to ease tensions between Moscow and Washington. The two leaders spoke for more than three hours on a range of issues ranging from cybersecurity to Russian aggression in Ukraine.