Saturday, May 18, 2024

Biden gifts Putin pair of iconic American-made ‘Top Gun’ aviators

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US President Joe Biden gifted his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin a pair of custom aviator sunglasses made by an American company during their summit in Geneva this week, reports have said.

The “Concorde” style aviator sunglasses, which were gifted by Biden, are made by Randolph Engineering Inc in the small town of Randolph in Massachusetts. The company, founded in 1973 and boasts of its “handcrafted in the USA” credentials, has provided them to the US military and its Nato partners. CNN cited an unnamed White House official as saying that Randolph joined forces with the US military in 1978 to produce the HGU-4/P Aviator, which was designed for fighter pilots. And the US armed forces buys some 25,000 pairs of aviator sunglasses every month.Peter Waszkiewicz, head of Randolph Engineering, told AFP he felt “surprise” at seeing the sunglasses his company made become a diplomatic token at a meeting followed the world over. “It was a normal business day until about after 12:00, when the phones started ringing and the social media went abuzz, then we realized what was going on,” Waszkiewicz told AFP, saying it was “pretty tense and exciting.” “It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it? I mean how often does an opportunity like this happen?” he said.

“President Biden, I’m sure, gave those glasses to President Putin as a symbol of our national heritage. And let’s hope it’s the symbol of peace,” Waszkiewicz said.

CNN reported citing the official that US President Biden also gifted Putin a crystal sculpture of an American bison, the national mammal of the US, made by Steuben Glass of New York.Biden gifts Putin pair of iconic American-made 'Top Gun' aviators

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