The government of Cyprus has until Monday to figure out how to raise 6 billion euros worth of emergency funds or the European Central Bank will pull the plug on their end of the bailout deal. The original fundraising plan—taxing the bank deposits of everyone who has money there—was loudly denounced. That leaves Cyprus's one and only backup plan in the hands of the one country you probably don't want to be in hock to: Russia.
In the middle of this new financial crisis, Cyprus's finance minister, Michalis Sarris, did not go to Brussels or Berlin to asking the European Union if it could possibly spare more money. Instead, he's in Moscow, asking Russia's state development bank to make an "investment" to support the Cypriot bailout. Wealthy Russian investors love to stash their money in Cypriot banks, so the government and even some private banks are inclined to help. But that doesn't mean they can't take advantage of the opportunity to wring some serious concessions from the island nation. Selling access to some of Cyprus's offshore gas reserves would be a good start. Turning one of their Mediterranean Sea ports into a Russian naval base would be even better.