Biden gifts Putin crystal bison sculpture, pair of custom Aviators
At their summit in Geneva on Wednesday, President Biden presented Russian Vladimir Putin with a crystal sculpture of an American bison - the US national mammal - and custom aviator glasses, according to a White House official.
The big picture: The summit came at a low point in US-Russian relations, as recognized by both sides. Biden said he was not aiming for a "reset" in relations, but rather a "more stable" and "more predictable" dynamic between the US and Russia.
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Background according to the White House:
President Biden gave the Russian Vladimir Putin a crystal sculpture of an American bison by Steuben Glass from New York, a stately interpretation of one of the most majestic mammals of our nation and stands for strength, unity and resilience. It was officially named the United States' national mammal in 2016 when the Obama-Biden administration enacted the National Biden Legacy Act. In Russia, the bison have been reintroduced over the past 20 years through the rewilding of numerous sites after they became extinct in 1927. The sculpture is presented on a cherry wood plinth, symbolizing our nation's first President, George Washington, with an individually engraved inscription plaque to commemorate the meeting between President Biden and President Putin.
President Biden also donated a pair of bespoke Randolph USA planes to President Putin. In 1978, Randolph teamed up with the US military to produce the HGU-4 / P Aviator for fighter pilots. Since then, they have provided the U.S. military and NATO partners with their high quality, durable Airplanes, which are domestically manufactured in their Massachusetts factory.
Go deeper: Putin calls the Biden summit "constructive" but blames the US for tensions
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