Putin hopeful Ukraine will pay gas bill

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he is hopeful the ongoing natural gas dispute with Ukraine will be resolved.

Putin said Wednesday that Russia wants Ukraine to pay a back bill of $2 billion this month, and then Russia will lower the price of gas deliveries in the future, Bloomberg News reports.

If Ukraine doesn't agree to the payment, then Russia will likely shut off its supply.

"It can't go like that forever, and everyone understands it," Putin said on Russian TV.

By June 7, Ukraine's debt will reach $5.2 billion.

“I hope that we won’t reach a situation where we have to move to prepayments,” Putin said in the Kremlin, after Russia's energy minister laid out the proposal from the European Union.

The countries are in a bit of a catch-22, as Ukraine says it wants to set a lower gas price before starting its payments.