It was a huge victory for the Hungarian government when the US State Department cancelled its grant to fund independent rural media in Hungary, former Hungarian NATO envoy Andras Simonyi told the New York Times.
According to the NYT, the Obama administration largely ostracized Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, but now the Trump administration is pivoting, signaling a new engagement with Hungary, as well as nearby Poland.
“The shift has alarmed many campaigners for democracy and the rule of law, even as others argue that the Obama strategy of trying to isolate Orban had failed, and created openings for Russian and Chinese influence,” the article writes, adding that Trump has made no secret of his fondness for strongman leaders.
“To some European diplomats and analysts, Trump’s pivot in Hungary deepens their belief that his administration is trying to divide the European Union, a bloc that he regards as a powerful trade competitor,” it says.
Source: Hungary Journal/NYT