Iceland and Russia
I would share the concern of Iceland's PM, expressed here, that they have had to turn to Russia for a financial bailout because, as he says, "We have not received the kind of support that we were requesting from our friends".
The heavy involvement of Russia in rescuing Iceland's economy isn't altruistic, it's geopolitical, and the West (i.e. primarily the US) have been very foolish in not acting as a kind of financial NATO to a fellow NATO member.
We were extremely lucky that even in the midst of such a deep crisis, Iceland did not allow itself (as some media reports yesterday said it had) to trade access for the Russian military to the former US airbase at Keflavik for the propping up of its banks with Russian capital - as that was obviously the long term prize the Russians were angling for.
Why do the Russians care about Iceland and why should we?
It sits at the middle of the strategically vital Greenland-Iceland-UK (GUIK) gap - the bottleneck that controls access to the North Atlantic for Soviet, oops sorry Russian, submarines and ships operating from naval bases on the Kola peninsula.
Control the GIUK gap - as NATO historically has, not least because this was the primary role of the Royal Navy in the Cold War and explains why we still have so many ships designed for anti-submarine warfare - and you can safely get men, food and equipment across the North Atlantic from the US to Western Europe if there was ever a confrontation with Russia.
Lose control of it - because for instance there are Russian aircraft based at Keflavik, using Iceland like it was a very large, immobile, granite aircraft carrier, and this becomes rather problematic.
Well done Iceland for not giving the Russians access to Keflavik, and shame on the rest of the West for allowing the Russians to get this kind of financial leverage.