US President Biden gifted Putin with personalized aviator sunglasses at summit


US President Joe Biden presented Russian President Vladimir Putin with a pair of custom aviator sunglasses made by Randolph USA during their summit on Wednesday, according to a White House official.

The sunglasses are manufactured by an American company which supplied them to the United States military and its NATO partners.

Biden also gifted the Russian president with a crystal sculpture of an American bison – the national mammal of the United States – made by Steuben Glass of New York, according to the official.

The donation of NATO-linked airmen is symbolic and follows a defense alliance summit in Brussels that Biden attended. During the summit, Biden reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to the military alliance and urged Western allies to align better against Russia and China.

The company, Randolph USA, manufactures its aviators in Massachusetts, the official said. In 1978, the company partnered with the U.S. military to produce the HGU-4 / P Aviator, designed for fighter pilots, according to the official.

The crystal sculpture of the American bison represents strength, unity and resilience, the official said. The American bison has been the national mammal of the United States since 2016, when President Barack Obama enacted the National Bison Legacy Act.

According to the official, the sculpture had a cherry wood base to symbolize former US President George Washington, as well as a custom-engraved inscription plaque to commemorate the meeting between the two leaders.

After their summit in Geneva, Biden told a press conference he was focusing on human rights and securing a stable relationship with Russia during their high-stakes talks. Biden underscored his focus on human rights during the meeting.

Earlier, Putin said in a separate press conference that he had detected no hostility between the two leaders. The summit ended with a modest deal to return each country’s ambassador to their post, a resolution expected from a summit that tested Biden’s decades of experience on the world stage.


Kevin E. Boling

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