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Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán came under fire Saturday after saying in a keynote speech that European countries with “race-mixing” were “no longer nations.”
Orbán was giving an address at the Tusvanyos Summer University in Romania when he made the controversial comments.
“We [Hungarians] are not a mixed race and we don’t want to become a mixed race,” Orbán said.
He also criticized the European Union‘s strategy in addressing the war on Ukraine, stating that sanctions on Moscow were not working.
“A new strategy is needed which should focus on peace talks and drafting a good peace proposal… instead of winning the war,” Orbán said.
Orbán’s comments were greeted with anger across the continent, and from members of the European parliament.
“To all ‘mixed race’ people in Hungary, whatever this senseless racist outburst means: your skin color may be different, you may come from Europe or beyond – you are one of us, we are proud of you. Diversity strengthens the nation, not weakens it,” Katalin Cseh, a Romanian MEP, posted on Twitter.
Alin Mituta, another Romanian politician, also chimed in, retweeting Cseh’s comments and saying, “Speaking about race or ethnic “purity” especially in such a mixed region such as Central&Eastern Europe is purely delusional & dangerous. And so is Mr Orban. Breaking news, Mr Orban, we ALL have mixed race & cultural origins. This is one of the great featured of being Europeans.”
Mituta also called Orbán’s “ethnic purity references” a “disgrace.”
“Hungary has a complex relationship with race and national identity because its language is unique and not related to any other European language. So the drive to preserve its national identity is understandable and it’s not unique,” Rebekah Koffler, president of Doctrine & Strategy Consulting, told Fox News Digital.
Koffler continued, “It’s a shame that politicians, like Orban, reduced these complex issues and weaponize things like race. But on the other hand his opponents often distort and exaggerate what he says, for the same reason, to sway voters and followers.”
Orbán has been vocal in the past regarding his anti-immigration stance, with the prime minister defying European Union immigration law in December via a Hungarian law criminalizing lawyers and activists aiding asylum seekers.
The prime minister has been campaigning on his “illiberal Hungary” platform since announcing he intended on building a Hungary based on that same notion in 2014.
“Viktor Orban is a typical politician who works (to) please his base and cultivate new followers. His right-wing rhetoric targets his fellow countrymen and other Europeans who are displeased with the negative effects of globalization and liberal policies,” Koffler added.
Fox News reached out to the Hungarian Foreign Ministry and the European Parliament spokesperson for comment but did not immediately hear back.