Russia » Politics

Gifts for President Putin

Russian politicians and officials were not in luck because President Putin had his 50 year birth anniversary during his governing period. They had to deal with the hard task of choosing a present for the Russian President’s anniversary. This kind of present should not be very expensive (especially if it is given by the governor of the poor region).
The President may keep such gifts.
Recently the Prime Minister of Japan presented Vladimir Putin the robot-dog which dances and wags its tail when the hymn of Russia is playing. The first present Putin got was the pen of President Boris Yeltsin as soon as Yeltsin officially resigned and appointed Putin the interim President.
Boris Yeltsin gave his pen to his successor after his address to Russian people on TV on the New Year’s eve on December 31, 2000.
However, it is hard only for the government officials decide on a gift for the Head of the state. Ordinary people seem to know how to delight Vladimir Putin. President’s Administration informed Novie Izvestiya newspaper that books are the most common present people send to the President. The Kremlin’s library has about two thousand books presented personally to President Putin, from books which are on sale in bookstores to the ones having only one copy. 
In addition to books, people send the President the paintings they drew, statuettes, panels, boxes, dolls… There are such items as clothes, kitchen utensils and sport apparatuses (many people are aware of Putin’s love for sport. All the presents President received were registered and stored in the special room next to the President’s library in the first Kremlin building. President Putin may keep any present cheaper than 200 dollars and use it as he likes. Law forbids Russian state officials to keep presents costing more $200. Such gifts become the state property: the most valuable ones are stored in the State Depository, some are placed in the President’s library.
On his trips around the country President Putin receives presents as well. As a rule, they are not complicated. In a children’s camp in Mordovia Republic of Russia the President was given a painted clay toy – Mordovian woman in national outfit, holding a baby in her hands. This souvenir was made by a 13-year-old boy. In children’s camp called Orlenok (Eaglet) in Kuban region  the Head of the state was given a T-shirt with an inscription “Leader of 21st century”. Students of a school in Novosibirsk gave the President a CD where they recorded their singing of Russian hymn. Senior students of a school in Perm gave Vladimir Putin a green ball they made of Amazonit mineral. Amazonit is the stone for Libra – the President’s zodiac sign. In the city of Omsk Vladimir Putin was given 12 volumes of Pushkin’s poems, having size of a cent coin. The microscopic books were made by painter of miniatures Anatoly Konenko. It would take very long to enumerate the presents Russian people gave the President.
A separate list can be made for the clothes the President brings from his trips within Russia and abroad. It has items of both national outfit and uniform. During his visiting Edinburgh the Russian President was given special fabric for sewing famous Scottish kilt. In Mongolia a silk Deli (a dressing-gown wrapped over on the right) was put on the President. When visiting Yamalo-Nenetski National District, Vladimir Putin was given Nenets’s national outfit – a fur coat, fur boots and a belt decorated with beads. However, one of the most unusual presents was given by Russian jewelers. They made a copy of the famous Cap of Prince Monomakh. This cap was a symbol of Russian czars. The copy costs more than the original because it has better diamonds and gold strings. The jewelers were not able to make Vladimir Putin try on the cap because the President was on a trip abroad.
For his 50 year birth anniversary the Russian President received a variety of gifts. The foreign leaders, the heads of the new independent states of the former USSR and Russian governors tried to express originality. On his birthday Vladimir Putin was given many presents – a wooden sculpture from the President of the Ukraine, a painting from former Georgian President Shevarnadze, a hand-made carpet from the Turkmen President. The President of Moldova gave a present with meaning – a cut-glass crocodile. This souvenir has a peculiarity: the Russian coat of arms could be seen inside it. On his 50-year birthday the President visited Tver region, where the local government gave him a big panel depicting a trip from St. Petersburg to Moscow. The governor of Altai region gave the President a stone icon having size 1 meter to 1.5 meters. The residents of the city of Omsk made a wise decision: their present for Vladimir Putin was the birch alley they planted on his birthday and named after him. It probably was the only present the givers could have with them.
There is a present the President prefers to keep at home or take with him – black Labrador dog named Conny Paulgrave. It was given to Vladimir Putin by Minister on Emergency situations Sergey Shoigu in December 2000, secretly from the Kremlin Protocol Department. The President himself trained the dog who now knows such commands as: “Sit down! Lie down! Keep close! Voice!” The dog does not feel too shy to give its paw to President Putin and can bark at him fearing no consequences.
Conny accompanied its master on his trip to Tyumen region. The dog also was in Sochi during the negotiations between Vladimir Putin and President of Belarus Alexaned Lukashenko, where it demonstrated its good temper – wagging its tail the dog ran to the reporters and “kissed” them all.

Source: Novie Izvestia newspaper

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