“We have to be prepared for all scenarios. I'm sorry to say it, but I can't say anything else: today we have to work with all the scenarios on the table because what happens is that [Vladimir] Putin's action not only exceeds his words, Putin's action in every moment is exceeding the maximum that we anticipated as possible in that same action”, maintained Augusto Santos Silva.

At the meeting of the Standing Committee of the Assembly of the Republic, which debates the conflict on the border between Russia and Ukraine, the Minister of State and Foreign Affairs insisted on the need to work “at the same time on two pillars”.

“The pillar of our own defense, which involves our own deterrence capacity, and the plan of economic and financial sanctions themselves,” he added.

Santos Silva also considered that “whatever the objective” of the Russian offensive, “it is illegitimate, it is illegal and it is reprehensible”.

In response to CDS-PP deputy Telmo Correia, the minister also said that “it is very difficult” to know what Putin’s ultimate objective will be with this aggression “given the duplicity that the [Russian] regime has shown”.

If one of the objectives could be to prevent Ukraine's integration into NATO, he continued, Santos Silva said that this "is not an issue on today's agenda", stressing that the integration of a new country into the Atlantic Alliance "is very time consuming".

“And even if the objective were to focus on influence, control, a kind of protectorate over that region of the Donbass, that would not explain the absolutely unbelievable terms in which Russia’s declaration of war is made and that what it really does is deny Ukraine's right to exist and threaten the whole world with measures, I quote, that have never been known before in history,” he added.

Telmo Correia, from the CDS-PP, wanted to underline the fact that “a friendly, sovereign and free country” was “attacked and the victim of aggression”.

“And that is all important and obliges us all to show solidarity with Ukraine and its people. Only those who think that the Soviet Union is not over or who think that Russia is still Soviet and who still thought in this context a few hours ago that the invasion was a fiction do not see this,” he argued.

The centrist deputy also considered that this “is not a matter for party debate”.