Hungary calls for an immediate ceasefire and peace talks among parties involved in the war in Ukraine as its interest lies in a peaceful Europe, the defence minister said in Brussels on Friday, after a two-day meeting of NATO defence ministers. It is also in Hungary’s interest that NATO should not get involved in the Russian-Ukraine war, Kristóf Szalay-Bobrovniczky told Hungarian journalists, adding that the alliance must not “yield to any pressure posed by an escalation of the war”. He reiterated Hungary’s position that it did not want “to drift” into the war and would not send lethal arms to Ukraine in a bid to protect Hungarians in the Transcarpathian region. The minister noted Hungary’s large-scale army development programme and its pledge made to NATO in 2014 to increase its defence spending to 2% of GDP by 2024. He said Hungary was among member states “faring well” and would fulfil that pledge earlier, already by next year. Szalay-Bobrovniczky also noted that NATO’s peacekeeping mission in Kosovo had operated in the recent past under Hungarian command. “Stability in the Western Balkans is of primary importance for Hungary. Pressure posed by migration continues to increase on Hungary’s southern borders and this is why it is important to maintain peace in the region,” he said. The minister said he held bilateral talks with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg who reaffirmed that Hungary is an esteemed and highly appreciated member of the alliance. Stoltenberg highlighted Hungary’s undertakings and achievements in NATO, saying that those “represented a value” to the military alliance and contributed to its security.