The EU and Russia underlined "the positive way" that their co-operation had developed over the past six months at the end of a summit hosted by the EU Finnish Presidency in Helsinki on 24 November.
An agreement to phase-out Siberian overflight charges for European airlines was the main outcome of the summit. "This will make European carriers significantly more competitive on routes between Europe and Asia," said the Finnish Presidency.
But Poland maintained its veto to start negotiations for a new co-operation agreement with Russia as Moscow refused to consider lifting a year-long ban on Polish meat over hygiene concerns.
Commission President José Manuel Barroso asked Russia to lift the ban, saying that the measure was "disproportionate". Three-way talks involving Moscow, the EU and Warsaw may be able to solve the issue - the two sides agreed that talks would start as soon as the Polish veto is lifted.
Ahead of the summit, Russia threatened to extend the ban to the whole of the EU over concerns about swine fever in Romania and Bulgaria, which are set to join the bloc on 1 January 2007.
"We are sending a team of experts on Monday where they will explain the transitional measures which the EU intends to put in place regarding Romania and Bulgaria and try to calm Russian fears," said Commission spokesman Philip Tod.
But even the meat row was overshadowed by news that Russian former spy Alexander Litvinenko had died in London, from mysterious radioactive poisoning. On his deathbed, Litvinenko made a statement accusing the Kremlin of being involved in his poisoning.
Putin rejected the accusations, saying Litvinienko's death was "being used for political speculation".
On energy, the summit made little progress due to the blocking of negotiations on the PCA. In a statement, the Finnish Presidency said energy co-operation between the EU and Russia is "based on a positive interdependence".
"The energy sector needs to function in a transparent, predictable way, based on reciprocity," it said.