Russian President Vladimir Putin and the deposed leader of Afghanistan were among the top gift givers to President Joe Biden and his family in 2021, according to federal documents published on Thursday.
In happier diplomatic times between all three countries, Putin gave Mr. Biden a $12,000 lacquer writing box and pen when they met at a highly anticipated summit in Geneva, Switzerland in June 2021.
That month, then-Afghan President Mohammed Ashraf Ghani and his wife gave Mr. Biden and first lady Jill Biden silk rugs worth an estimated $28,800.
Relations between the U.S. and Russia soured soon after the Geneva meeting and have plummeted since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last February. Ghani, meanwhile, fled Afghanistan shortly after the U.S. withdrew from the country on Biden’s orders in August, 2021.
Biden also in June received a brass and lapis lazuli jewelry box, worth an estimated $1,150 from Abdullah Abdullah, who was then considered to be the No. 2 in the Afghan government. And Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was given a carpet valued at $2,650 in March by Ghani.
The details appear in the State Department’s annual accounting of gifts to U.S. officials from world leaders posted on the website of the Federal Register on Thursday. The list, covering 2021, will formally be published on Friday.
All of the Putin and Ghani gifts were transferred to the National Archives, a requirement for any gift to a U.S. official valued at more than $415. The recipient has the option of paying the estimated value and keeping the gift.