GENEVA (WPRI/AP) — President Joe Biden has marked his first presidential summit with Russia’s Vladimir Putin by giving his counterpart a pair of custom aviator glasses.
Biden is so known for wearing aviator shades that he’s sometimes parodied over them. Biden notably kept wearing his aviators while meeting Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle on Sunday.
The aviators given to Putin are a brand manufactured in Massachusetts and designed for fighter pilots.
“The phone started going off the hook, social media was going crazy,” Randolph USA CEO Peter Waszkiewicz said. “We knew then that OK, something happened.”
Waszkiewicz said the style gifted to Putin is called the Concorde.
He added his father Jan and partner Stanley Zaleski, both Polish immigrants, founded the company and opened the factory in Randolph in 1973. The company is still owned and operated by the two families.
“To have something like this happen just puts a smile on all our faces,” Waszkiewicz said. “It’s an honor and we are super excited about it.”
Biden also gave Putin a crystal sculpture of an American bison made by a New York-based glass company.
According to a White House official, the sculpture had a cherry wood base in order to symbolize former U.S. President George Washington. The sculpture also included a custom engraved inscription plaque to commemorate the meeting between Putin and Biden.
The Kremlin has not said whether, and how, Putin may have reciprocated.