(QHA) -

Billionaire financier George Soros said he is prepared to invest $1 billion in Ukraine if Western countries help support private investment there.

In an interview published by Austrian newspaper Der Standard on March 30, Soros said, "I stand ready."

He said there were "concrete investment ideas, for example in agriculture and infrastructure projects."

Soros said the West could help make Ukraine more attractive to investors by protecting them against political risks -- possibly by providing financing "at EU interest rates -- very close to zero."

Ukraine is seeking cash and investment as it struggles with a Russian-backed rebellion in the east that has exacerbated its economic problems. 

Chinese company CITIC Construction said on March 26 it would provide Ukraine with $15 billion in low-rate loans over 15 years to help support construction of affordable housing.

The International Monetary Fund approved a $17.5 billion bailout for Ukraine earlier this month.

QHA