Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is currently on a tour of several eastern European countries, including Hungary and Slovakia, in order to counter growing Chinese and Russian influence there.
Most worrying to Secretary Pompeo and many U.S. analysts has been the growth of state-linked foreign investment in Hungary, a state which under right-wing Prime Minister Viktor Orban and his Fidesz party has strained relations with NATO by becoming more authoritarian in recent years. State-linked Chinese tech company Huawei Technologies is expanding in Hungary, bulding a major logistics hub to increase its consumer base which already encompasses 70% of the Hungarian population.
In addition to growing Chinese influence, Pompeo seeks to counter growing influence from Moscow. Prime Minister Orban agreed on a deal with Vladimir Putin for Russian energy company Rosatom to build a €12 billion nuclear plant funded by a long-term loan from Moscow.
Secretary Pompeo is using several economic tools to court closer relations with Hungary. Secretary Pompeo authorized the signing of a long-awaited defense cooperation agreement with Hungary and entered into advanced talks to buy midrange missiles. Additionally, the State Department canceled a grant that would have funded independent media (opposition to Viktor Orban) in Hungary.