commander General Wesley Clark cheered the pro-NATO Baltic republics with visits to Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia at the beginning of August. NATO’s admission criteria, he said, are primarily political. He stressed that NATO’s concept of security is no longer confined to the territory of NATO member countries but extends to non-member neighboring countries as well…. All three Baltic countries aspire to NATO membership. All have peacekeeping units in Kosovo, serving with the Danish-Norwegian contingent under NATO command…. United States Defense Secretary William Cohen visited Ukraine and offered to seek NATO help for funding and transporting a Ukrainian contingent as part of the Kosovo peacekeeping force. Monthly expenses are estimated at $1.25 million. Ukraine’s defense minister announced that the idea of sending ten long-range bombers to Russia in exchange for debt reduction is dead…. Cohen went on to Georgia and met with President Eduard Shevardnadze, who recently declared Georgia’s interest in meeting the qualifications for NATO membership. Cohen and Georgian officials discussed bilateral cooperation and United States military assistance, including the planning for a joint exercise of U.S. and Georgian ground troops under NATO’s Partnership for Peace program. Cohen said the United States and NATO see Georgia making a successful transition to democracy and to a market economy, and “NATO looks at that with great favor.”