UK, Germany agree Russia needs punishing if Ukraine invaded

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 British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz met on Saturday and agreed on the need for more diplomacy to stop Russian leader Vladimir Putin from ordering an invasion of Ukraine, and strong responses if Russia does attack.

“The Prime Minister and Chancellor Scholz resolved to redouble efforts to reach a diplomatic resolution to prevent unnecessary bloodshed,” Johnson’s office said in a statement.

“Should President Putin make the catastrophic miscalculation to further breach Ukrainian sovereignty, allies must put in place a comprehensive response which strikes at the heart of Russia’s strategic interests,” the statement added.

Cuba to deepen ties with Russia as Ukraine tensions mount

Russia and Cuba will deepen ties and explore collaboration in transportation, energy, industry and banking, Cuba’s Foreign Ministry said late on Friday following a visit from Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Yuri Borisov.

In a statement, Cuba’s communist-run government expressed support for Russia as tensions mount in Ukraine, and accused long-time rival the United States and its allies of targeting Moscow with what it called a “propaganda war” and sanctions.

Cuba “reiterates its position against the unilateral and unjust sanctions imposed by the West on the Eurasian country and against the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization towards the Russian borders.”

Borisov earlier this week visited Nicaragua and Venezuela, key Russian allies in Latin America, and said Russia would also deepen bilateral ties with both countries.

His tour follows visits to Moscow by Latin American leaders – including Argentina’s Alberto Fernandez and Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro – for talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, prompting some analysts to suggest Russia is courting the region as tensions rise over Ukraine.

Ukraine and Russian-backed rebels accuse each other of shelling