"the Russians were the ones who saved the ISS project."
Yes, and no. The US wanted the Russian space program to continue and have put a lot of money their way to help ensure that. Maybe not so much in the last few years other than taxi fares, but it was partly to help retain the Russian space expertise in Russia and not have them selling out to the highest bidders all over the world. Rocket engineers wanting to Get Rich Quick can build all sorts of upwardly mobile explody things for other governments if their own government can longer no longer pay them.