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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Yeltsin Replies to Girl

MOSCOW -- President Boris Yeltsin wrote a letter to a 10-year-old Slovenian girl to assure her that Russia will not use nuclear weapons against NATO.

Taja Rukavine sent Yeltsin a message on the Internet saying she was worried that the conflict in Yugoslavia would escalate into full-scale war.

"If a war starts, it will be a catastrophe,'' she wrote. "Indeed if somebody drops a nuclear bomb, it will take at least 20 years to restore losses and return to a normal life in this region.''

She said she knew that Yeltsin had warned U.S. President Bill Clinton that Russia was prepared to use nuclear missiles to stop the bombing in Yugoslavia. "Think of the innocent people who will die, of all those children whose children will fall on war years, if they are to survive at all,'' she wrote.

Yeltsin wrote back Saturday and said there had been no Russian threat to use nuclear weapons against NATO forces.