Although Portuguese Prime Minister José Socrates, whose country currently holds the EU Presidency, announced that the summit had led to "several significant" advances, concrete achievements remained slim.
The two main accomplishments were the signing of deals on raising steel imports from Russia to the EU and on establishing closer cooperation on drug trafficking.
Apart from this, the two sides agreed on a new "early-warning mechanism" aimed at averting potential energy supply crises thanks to an improved exchange of information.
But major questions relating to proposed EU legislation on gas and energy markets, which had drawn fire from Moscow due to demands for reciprocity for European energy companies in Russia and an obligation for foreign firms to 'unbundle' their production and transmission activities in Europe, remained unresolved.
In an effort to rebuff criticism of Russia's human rights situation, Vladimir Putin suggested the creation of an institute to discuss and promote human rights and democracy in the EU. However, the outgoing President denied that its aim was to counter attacks from human rights NGOs that continue to criticise Russia.
"With the aid of grants, the EU helps develop such institutes in Russia. I think the time has come for Russia to make its contribution in this sphere as well," Putin told reporters at the Summit.
The EU also stressed its continued support for Moscow's bid to become a member of the World Trade Organisation. However, no mention was made of the main stumbling blocks preventing the EU giving its final approval, including fees charged by Russia to EU airlines wishing to fly over Siberia and a political row over Polish meat imports to Russia, which is blocking both Russia's WTO accession and negotiations for a new bilateral Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA). The current PCA is due to expire in December this year.
"Honestly, some differences remain…But there was a spirit of overcoming some difficulties…It was a pragmatic summit," said Commission President José Manuel Barroso, voicing his confidence that outstanding issues could be resolved in the near future.
If anything, the summit seemed to fulfil a mutual desire to restore some normality to EU-Russia relations, marred by a growing number of political and economic tensions, including on international questions, such as the future status of Kosovo, the Middle East peace process and Iran's nuclear programme.
The summit also highlighted Russia's growing strains with the United States, as President Putin likened US plans to install a missile shield in EU member states Poland and the Czech Republic to the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, which is widely considered to be the closest the world has come to nuclear war.