MOSCOW (AP) - Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced hope for settling a dispute with Ukraine that could cut off Russian gas supplies to Europe.

MOSCOW (AP) Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced hope for settling a dispute with Ukraine that could cut off Russian gas supplies to Europe.

In televised remarks at Wednesday's Cabinet session, Putin signaled that Russia could negotiate new terms for gas shipments to Ukraine if it pays off part of its debt.

Energy Minister Alexander Novak reported at the session that Ukraine must pay $2 billion before Friday and another $500 million before June 7. Once Ukraine makes the first payment, Russia could negotiate a price discount for future supplies, he said.

Moscow has ratcheted up pressure on Ukraine after its pro-Russian president was chased from power in February after months of protests. Since then, Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean peninsula and a pro-Russia insurgency has engulfed eastern Ukraine.