BEIJING (Sputnik) – All countries should fully respect the right of their companies to decide on cooperation with firms from other countries, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said on Tuesday, commenting on letters from US Envoy to Germany Richard Grenell that were sent to German companies participating in the Nord Stream 2 project.
Hua stressed that firms, no matter the country they were based in, had the right to make their own decisions on which foreign companies to cooperate and maintain contacts with.
"Any country and any person should fully respect this", she said.
Nord Stream 2 is a joint venture of Russian gas giant Gazprom and five European companies. It aims to deliver 55 billion cubic meters (1.9 trillion cubic feet) of Russian natural gas annually to the European Union via the Baltic Sea and Germany. The pipeline project has been welcomed by some countries in Europe and opposed by others that feel it might increase their dependence on Russian gas.
The United States has been strongly opposing the pipeline construction project. In this regard, Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced the belief that US leader Donald Trump is seeking to force Russia out of the European energy market so that the United States could sell more liquefied natural gas to Europe.
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