Hungary’s nationalist Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Thursday defended his comments against creating “peoples of mixed-race”, saying they represented a “cultural” standpoint. “It happens sometimes that I speak in a way that can be misunderstood… the position that I represent is a cultural… standpoint,” Orban told reporters during a visit to neighbouring Austria. Orban sparked a storm of criticism after he warned against mixing with “non-Europeans” in a speech in Romania’s Transylvania region, home to a Hungarian community, on Saturday. Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said in a joint press conference with Orban that the issue had been “resolved… amicably and in all clarity”, adding his country “strongly condemned… any form of racism or anti-Semitism”. The International Auschwitz Committee has urged the European Union — and Nehammer specifically — to distance themselves from “Orban’s racist undertones”. Austria is the first EU country to host Orban for talks since he won a fourth straight mandate in an April landslide. Besides the race row, the two leaders discussed migration and energy security amid tensions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Vienna sees itself “as an honest broker” and is anxious not to sideline Hungary, an Austrian official told AFP on condition of anonymity. Jewish community representatives voiced alarm after Orban, an ultra-conservative known for his anti-migrant policy and virulent rhetoric, said that “we do not want to become peoples of mixed-race”. The 59-year-old also seemed to allude to the Nazi German gas chambers when criticising a Brussels plan to reduce European gas demand by 15 percent following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Hungary was the only EU member to oppose the plan, which passed on a majority vote this week. An adviser to Orban, Zsuzsa Hegedus, resigned on Tuesday, slamming his speech as “a pure Nazi text”. In response, Orban stressed his government’s “policy of zero tolerance when it comes to anti-Semitism and racism”, according to a letter made public.