George Soros: I'll Invest $1B in Ukraine if West Gets Involved

Billionaire says EU making 'terrible' mistake in its approach
By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 30, 2015 9:30 AM CDT
George Soros: I'll Invest $1B in Ukraine if West Gets Involved
Soros Fund Management Chairman George Soros.   (AP Photo/Thomas Peter, Pool)

It's time for the West to push for more private investment in the Ukraine, says billionaire George Soros, and he's ready to put his money where his mouth is. "The West can help Ukraine by increasing attractiveness for investors. A political risk insurance is necessary," Soros told Austria's Der Standard, as per Reuters. "Concrete investment ideas," he says, include those in "agriculture and infrastructure projects. I would put in $1 billion. This must generate a profit. My foundation would benefit from this. ... Private engagement needs strong political leadership."

Ukraine, he says, needs about $54 billion, the Economic Times reports; Soros says the financing could be conducted at interest rates near zero, and it would help weaken Vladimir Putin. The Economic Times notes that between war, a currency devaluation, and a powerful recession, Ukraine could be approaching bankruptcy. The EU's lack of support for Ukraine, Soros recently told BBC radio, has been a "terrible, terrible mistake," the Irish Times reports. "I'm a firm believer in the EU as it was originally meant to be. I considered it an embodiment of the open society idea to which my foundations are devoted." (Read more George Soros stories.)

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