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The most traditional gifts given to Vladimir Putin during his eight
The most traditional gifts given to Vladimir Putin during his eight years in office are books, china and glassware, but he has also been sent horses, falcons, dogs and a white goat.

The president accepts gifts during state visits from foreign leaders and officials on behalf of Russia, which are then kept in the Kremlin. Presidents and other high-ranking officials in Russia are only allowed to keep presents with a value below $150.

Russians have sent the president a range of gifts from traditional Caucasus coats and cloaks to ancient swords and even wax models of the president.

In 2002, when Putin celebrated his 50th birthday, a woman from the central Russian city of Kursk presented him with a hand-knitted 50-meter scarf. Other birthday presents from Russians that year included a copy of the Cap of Monomach, the Russian tsars' inherited crown, a map of the Russian Federation made from jasper quartz, and a sack of onions.

Putin has declined some gifts like three Arabian race horses worth $2.5 million from the King of Jordan. And he handed over a BMW car presented by German businessmen to a Russian priest and an expensive Swiss watch to a Kremlin guard officer.

A longtime judo and downhill skiing aficionado Putin, also loves horse riding. Among the horses he has received, which live at his official country residence at Novo Ogaryovo, there is a white goat presented by Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov and three dogs, including the famous Labrador Connie.

Of all the gifts he received as president, Putin, an Orthodox believer, is reported to have only kept an icon given by the leader of the Russian Orthodox Church, an embroidered image of Our Lady, an Easter egg, and a geographical globe.

The popular president is expected to step down after the March 2 presidential election. The Russian Constitution bars him from running for a third term. But Putin is expected to become premier if his longtime ally Dmitry Medvedev wins the polls, which is almost certain to happen.


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