Defense and foreign ministers from the NATO member nations have officially approved the peacekeeping mission in Bosnia. Fourteen nonmember nations also pledged their support and said they would join in the peacekeeping operation. Chief among these: Russia, whose participation the Clinton Administration had deemed crucial. French Defense Minister Charles Millon gave the mission a boost when he attended the meeting, ending a 29-year French boycott of NATO's military wing. The contributor of 10,000 of the 60,000 peacekeepers, France has a major stake in the largest troop deployment in NATO history. TIME's Bruce Crumley notes that the French now have 7,500 troops in Sarajevo and represent the most experienced contingent of European military units in a divided Serb-Muslim city that could be a flashpoint during the peacekeeping mission.