Kremlin Gifted Obama a State-Made DVD About His Life
- By Jonathan Earle
- Apr. 30 2013 00:00
- Last edited 12:59
The Kremlin presented President Barack Obama with a DVD documentary about his life made by Russian state television — one of the humbler gifts that the White House received from foreign dignitaries in 2011, according to a new report from the U.S. government.
Then-President Dmitry Medvedev gave Obama a small, wooden box containing the 23-minute film titled "Formula of Power" at an APEC summit in Hawaii in November 2011.
Medvedev also gave Obama a miniature enamel painting of the Kremlin in 2011, the Federal Register, which keeps an inventory of what gifts U.S. leaders receive, said in a statement Friday.
The total value of the two gifts was estimated at $1,050.
Compared with some world leaders, whose gifts included luxury goods valued in the tens of thousands of dollars, Russian officials tended toward more traditional and modest offerings.
Vladimir Putin, then the prime minister, gave Vice President Joe Biden a "swan punch bowl and seven small cups" decorated in the traditional khokhloma style, the statement said. Estimated value: $440.
The two leaders met during Biden's visit to Moscow in March 2011.
Also in 2011, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gave then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton an oval box, hand-painted with cityscapes, valued at $680, while now-disgraced former Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov gave his U.S. counterpart silver wine goblets worth an estimated $520.
Perhaps the most exciting Russian gift went to Michael Mullen, then-chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, who received a large, antique sword that the U.S. government priced at $780.
The gifts were accepted because, "non-acceptance would cause embarrassment to donor and U.S. government," and all are expected to eventually be transferred to either the National Archives or General Services administration, the statement said.
The first family received a total of $243,970.96 worth of gifts in 2011. Highlights included a basketball signed by the Toronto Raptors basketball team from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and black Hermes golf bag from former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and a $40,000 print by artist Vik Muniz from the governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro.