Ukraine is willing to settle a gas debt worth 1.5 billion dollars with Russia if it can have a direct import agreement with the Russian gas company Gazprom, Ukrainian First Deputy Prime Minister Oleksandr Turchynov said on Sunday, according to Xinhua.

    "Ukraine`s first deputy prime minister Oleksandr Turchynov confirms that the country`s state gas and oil company Naftogaz indeed has a debt," said a statement on the government`s web site.

    "Naftogaz is ready to commit to full repayment of its debt in exchange for an agreement to sign a direct contract and relevant documents with Russia`s Gazprom," it said.

    Gazprom has threatened to reduce some supplies to Ukraine if the state energy company Naftogaz does not pay the debt by Feb. 11.