KYIV - Russia wants to destroy the normal life of every European citizen, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said.

“It is trying to attack with poverty and political chaos where it cannot yet attack with missiles,” Mr Zelensky said in his regular address on Sunday.

He was speaking hours after Russia said that its main gas pipeline to Europe would not reopen as planned.

Europe accused Russia of using its gas supplies to blackmail Europe amid the Ukraine conflict, which Moscow denies. Energy prices have soared since Russia invaded Ukraine on 24 February and scarce supplies could push up costs even further. There are growing fears families in the EU will be unable to afford the cost of heating this winter. Governments across the continent are contemplating what measures to take to alleviate the crisis.

Germany - one of the countries worst affected by the Russian supply disruption - announced a €65bn (£56bn) package of help on Sunday. Chancellor Olaf Scholz said Russia was no longer a reliable energy partner. The stand-off with Russia has forced countries to fill their own gas supplies, with Germany’s stores increasing from less than half in June to 84% full today. Europe is attempting to wean itself off Russian energy in an effort to reduce Moscow’s ability to finance the war.

Russia’s state energy firm Gazprom announced on Friday the Nord Stream 1 pipeline could be closed indefinitely.

The pipeline, which runs to Germany, had been shut for three days for what Gazprom described as maintenance work and had been due to reopen.

Ukraine PM visits Berlin, seeking more weapons

Ukraine Prime Minister Denys Shmygal brought Kyiv’s plea for more weapons to Germany on Sunday, saying his country needed additional help in its battle against Russia.

Shmygal is the first high-level Ukrainian official to visit Germany in months, in a sign of eased tensions between Kyiv and Berlin after a rocky patch.

The first stop on his trip was a meeting with President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, where Shmygal “discussed the military situation, strengthening sanctions and the need to provide weapons for Ukraine,” he said on Twitter.

Shmygal, who will meet Chancellor Olaf Scholz later Sunday, also thanked Germany “for solidarity with Ukrainians and support”.

Germany will “continue to stand reliably by Ukraine’s side,” Steinmeier reassured Shmygal, according to the German president’s spokeswoman.