Moscow: Russia's powerful Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has won a prestigious German award for his key role in the development of his country.

Putin, who recently was dubbed by a Kremlin mandarin as 'God sent', has won Germany's Quadriga award, reports say.

"Putin already today deserves a separate chapter in a history book and is paving the way for Russia's future in the spirit of Peter the Great,” a news paper quoted excerpts of a decision on awarding him the prize.

A fluent German speaker Putin has served in former East Germany as KGB spy and his knowledge of the country has helped him build excellent economic relations with the German industrial giants and political elite.

The Quadriga award is presented each year on October 3, the anniversary of German reunification, to four people or groups for their commitment to innovation, renewal and a pioneering spirit through political, economic and cultural activities.

The award sponsored by Werkstatt Deutschland non-profit organisation carries a small replica of the Quadriga (chariot drawn by four horses) which crowns the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin.

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev and former Czech President Vaclav Havel have won the award in the past.

Putin, who was Russia's president in 2000-2008 and is issuing ambiguous signals about his plans to seek re-election in March 2012, was recently compared to a God's gift for Russia by the Kremlin grey cardinal.

Despite mounting criticism of Putin in the Russian 'blogosphere', he still remains the most popular political leader in the country on the backdrop a weak Medvedev.

(Agencies)