The Russian leader came to Matveev's home on Moscow's outskirts with former colleagues who worked with him in Dresden.
Putin congratulated his ex-boss on the 90th anniversary and the upcoming Victory Day and raised a toast to the health of Matveev.
The Russian head of state presented the anniversary celebrant a presidential clock, as well as a copy of the legendary Soviet newspaper Pravda released on Matveev's birthday in 1927.
The president himself recalls that work in East Germany in the book "From the First Person."
"It was a job in political intelligence: getting information about politicians, about plans of a potential enemy," Putin explained.
"Ordinary intelligence: recruiting sources of information, getting information, processing it and sending it to the center. It concerned information about political parties, trends within these parties, leaders — today's and possible tomorrow's, about promoting people to certain posts in parties and state apparatus. It was important to know who, how and what he does in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the country of interest, as well as how it [the ministry] is forming its policy on different issues in different parts of the world, or what the position of our partners in the disarmament negotiations will be, for example, it was quite a routine work," Putin said.
In 2013, Putin provided a rare insight into 16 years of his work in the KGB. "It’s bad to eavesdrop," Putin smiled and told a meeting of the All-Russian People’s Front movement. "I learned this from my time in the KGB. [And] I gave it up."