Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is visiting Russia for security talks, as Moscow seeks continued support for its war on Ukraine.
Beijing which is taken as a close ally of Moscow, Wang’s visit comes after Vladimir Putin's meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un that was thought to yield an arms deal.
Mr Wang's trip would also lay the ground for Mr Putin to make a landmark visit to Beijing soon, according to Russian media reports.
Earlier this month Mr Putin said he expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping, but did not say when.
He has not traveled abroad since the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for him in March over war crimes in Ukraine. Mr Putin last ventured onto foreign soil in December 2022 when he visited Belarus and Kyrgyzstan.
According to China's foreign ministry said Mr Wang will remain in Russia for four days for "strategic security consultations".
Russian news agency Tass, citing the Kremlin, said he would meet his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov and the Ukraine war would be a key topic of their talks.
They will also discuss "the expansion of Nato forces and infrastructure in the Asia-Pacific region" and strengthening their coordination in international groupings such as the UN, it said.