FIRST AIRED: February 11, 2019

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00:00:00
US secretary of state Mike Pompeii %HESITATION is on a trip to Poland Hungary and Slovakia and it may be coming at a crucial time for American influence in the region too often in the recent past the United States was absent from central Europe , that's unacceptable despite those countries being members of NATO the influence of geo political rivals China and Russia is encroaching Justina Polak is Reuters bureau chief for the region the trump administration appears concern to the United States has become to disengage from central Europe after the entry of countries in the region into the into the European Union and then tonight top there's a sense that the process of rebuilding them was complete however China and Russia appear to have made in roads into the region again Hungarian prime minister Viktor Orban for example is among the most enthusiastic in Europe about investment from China and has close economic ties with Moscow phone and on the other hand is wary of its eastern neighbor the White House is especially concerned about the fact that Russia dominates Hungary's energy sector and it's getting stronger we must not let Putin drive wedges between friends in NATO and on China Pompeii %HESITATION has already spent part of this trip warning about the influence of Wall ways foothold in the region that's the telecom giant Washington alleges may have ties to Chinese intelligence services the renewed interest from the U. S. in these countries comes as Poland and Hungary find themselves increasingly isolated from the European Union on civil rights and rule of law concerns later in the week vice president Mike pence will also visit Poland to attend a summit with allies on countering Iran