Westerwelle announced that Germany would like to cooperate with Putin "constructively and in a trusting way," – which was the first reaction from Berlin since Putin reclaimed the Kremlin in Sunday's election.
"Russia is and remains a centrally important partner for Germany and Europe. We therefore want to continue and deepen the strategic partnership with Russia," he added in a written statement.
The German minister also said partnership with Russia on social and economic modernisation was in the mutual interest of Germany and Europe, as well as Russia, and "is more necessary than ever."
Putin secured nearly 64 percent of the vote in Sunday's election, winning back the Russian presidency which he held for two terms from 2000-2008 before his four-year stint as prime minister.
He will formally take over as president after his inauguration in May.