MOSCOW, July 13. /TASS/. Russia and Gabon can join efforts to look for a solution to the crisis in the Central African Republic, Russian President Vladimir Putin told Gabonese counterpart Ali Bongo Ondimba on Saturday.
"Unconditionally, we have fields to work on, including the regional settlement - in Central Africa," Putin said adding that Gabon was actively engaged in the cooperation and was making a considerable contribution.
Putin pointed out that relations between Moscow and Libreville "are, anyway, developing in all directions."
"Unfortunately, a total amount of trade is not large, but the pace of growth is impressive," he added.
Gabon’s president thanked Putin for his invitation and warm welcome in Russia and congratulated him on winning the presidential election in March.
"Mr. President, I came to tell you that Africa needs you," Ondimba went on to say, noting that the continent has richest resources, which major states strive to explore.
Russia with its tremendous capabilities might have a hand for the benefit of Africa, he added.
"I am pleased that Russia is not indifferent to solving the conflicts <…> in our vicinity, a solution to the turmoil in the Central African Republic," Gabon’s president said. "I think it would be just wonderful if we joined efforts to bring peace to that country."
The Kremlin press service said that trade between Russia and Gabon doubled in 2017 to $47.7 (from $29.1 in 2016).
Last October, Russia’s oil giant Rosneft signed a profile protocol of understanding with Gabon’s Oil and Hydrocarbon Ministry. In June 2017, Zarubezhneft and the Gabonese oil company signed a memorandum of understanding - a framework agreement on key aspects of cooperation, including joint exploration of deposits and construction of oil and gas facilities in Gabon.