External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday met her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov in Moscow where she is on a two-day visit to co-chair a key bilateral meeting and to hold talks with the Russian leadership to boost the strategic partnership. “Always a pleasure to meet a good friend of India! EAM @SushmaSwaraj with Foreign Minister of Russia Sergey Lavrov in her 1st engagement since arriving in Moscow. Both leaders had a good exchange of views on bilateral & regional issues. FM Lavrov hosted a dinner in honour of EAM,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted. Swaraj, who is visiting Russia for the third time in 11 months, had a brief stopover in Ashgabat en route to Moscow during which she held discussions with her Turkmenistan counterpart Rashid Meredov on issues of bilateral interest. The minister will attend the 23rd India-Russia Inter-Governmental Commission on Technical and Economic Cooperation (IRIGC-TEC) which is co-chaired by her and the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Yuri Borisov. The IRIGC-TEC is a standing body which annually meets and reviews ongoing activities of bilateral cooperation in the fields of bilateral trade and investment, science and technology, culture and other issues of mutual interest. The commission, after taking stock of bilateral cooperation in various fields, will provide policy recommendations and directions in the concerned fields, the Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement. “Maintaining the momentum of high-level exchanges,” Kumar tweeted ahead of the minister’s visit. The last meeting of the commission was held in New Delhi in December, 2017. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Russian President Vladimir Putin met for an informal summit in the Black Sea coastal city of Sochi in May during which the two leaders upgraded the traditionally close India-Russia relationship to a “special privileged strategic partnership.” The two leaders also met on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg in June.