European Union leaders are due to meet in Brussels on October 20 for the second time in two weeks to try to bring down energy prices despite persistent divisions between the 27 members of the bloc.
Discussing ways to reduce gas prices is expected to be a bone of contention after a recent European Commission proposal fell short of detailing how a gas price cap could work.
A group of 15 countries including France and Poland favors some form of a cap, but they face strong opposition from Germany and the Netherlands -- respectively Europe's biggest economy and gas buyer, and a major European gas trading hub.
Addressing lawmakers in Berlin ahead of the summit, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said on October 20 that a price cap "carries the risk that producers will then sell their gas elsewher, and we Europeans will end up with less gas instead of more."
The 27 are expected to support an alternative price benchmark for liquefied natural gas and joint gas buying.
EU leaders are also expected to discuss how to fund potential gas price measures and aid packages to relieve households and businesses in the light of skyrocketing energy costs.
The summit is expected to discuss support for Ukraine to help it cope with the consequences of a deadly wave of Russian missile and drone strikes that severely damaged the country's energy infrastructure.
The commission in May proposed providing 9 billion euros ($8.8 billion) in grants and loans to Ukraine to keep its civilian administration running.
So far only 3 billion euros have been disbursed, leading to calls to improve the way in which the war-torn country receives aid from the bloc.
The EU's ties with China will also be discussed.
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