The subject is too frivolous to turn into World War III, but the war of words is escalating between Patriots owner Robert Kraft and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Kraft said last week that in 2005, he visited Russia and left without his Super Bowl ring, as Putin admiringly said, “I can kill someone with this” and walked off with it. At the time, Kraft released a statement saying he had given it as a gift to show the friendship between the American people and the Russian people, but Kraft now says he was pressured by the White House to make that statement to avoid an international incident.

Asked about Kraft’s comments, Putin’s spokesman told CNN that he was personally with Putin at the time that the ring changed hands and that the story is totally false.