Russia’s BRICS partner, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will attend the St Petersburg International Economic Forum to be held on June 1-3, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

SPIEF is an annual Kremlin-run, high-profile gathering of business and political figures.

Modi’s visit to Russia comes amid a continuing storm over US intelligence agencies’ allegations that Russia tried to interfere in the US presidential election to help Donald Trump win the White House.

Relations between Moscow and the European Union have also been strained since an EU move to bring Ukraine into a trade pact. The EU imposed sanctions on Russia after Moscow, in 2014, held and won a referendum in Crimea, that was earlier part of Ukraine.

The EU is currently holding a heated debate on whether to extend sanctions against Moscow, which will expire this summer.

India had earlier backed what it describes as “legitimate Russian interests in Ukraine” after Russian accession of Crimea that resulted in Western sanctions against the country.

Indian Prime Minister Modi will hold talks with Putin during his Russia visit.

In 2015, Indian Prime Minister Modi also praised Putin’s leadership that tackled what he called “the confrontation against Russia”.

“Despite the various global problems, despite the confrontation against Russia, you have raised your country, your state to a qualitatively new level. Russia proudly moves along its own development path and I commend your personal leadership in this process,” Modi told Putin.

Delhi and Moscow have close economic and political ties.

India has announced plans to build 40 nuclear reactors, in addition to the existing 22, in the next two decades. Russia is planning to build 20 reactors in India. Russian state nuclear company Rosatom would look at “localization of manufacturing in India for Russian-designed nuclear reactor units” according to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs.

Almost ninety per cent of India’s military arsenal is Russian equipment. In the past couple of years, the US is playing catch up trying to displace Russia from the top spot.

Modi and Putin will also meet in China later this year during the 9th BRICS Summit.