简言之，俄罗斯和美国能毫无忌惮地反目，是因为两国关系恶化可能造成的经济损失很小。根据研究公司高频经济（High Frequency Economics）卡尔•温伯格的分析，美俄之间的贸易联系微不足道：
可与之对比的是美中经济关系。与俄罗斯不同，中国是美国重要的出口市场：根据国会研究服务部（Congressional Research Service）的数据，如果将美资公司在华销售额与美国公司的出口额加在一起，中国市场规模将达到3000亿美元。2013年，中美贸易总额超过了5千亿美元，在两国经济总产出中占到了相当比例。
这些统计数据也有助于解释为什么通常在联合国安理会（United Nations Security Council）议题中支持俄罗斯的中国，日前在谴责俄罗斯的投票中投了弃权票。（财富中文网）
It's the economies, stupid.
Russian President Vladimir Putin signed legislation officially annexing Crimea on Tuesday, in blatant disregard of threats of economic sanctions that President Barack Obama announced over the weekend. And while some have considered the events in Ukraine the result of geopolitical posturing (Arizona Senator John McCain, for instance, has blamed Russia's actions on the Obama administration's "disturbing lack of realism" on foreign policy.), economics and trade offer a much clearer view of the situation.
Put simply, Russia and the U.S. are free to antagonize each other because they have very little to lose economically from deteriorated relations. According to analysis from Carl Weinberg of High Frequency Economics, trade ties between the U.S. and Russia are minuscule:
U.S. goods exports to Russia totaled just $11 billion in 2013, equivalent to less than 0.1% of U.S. GDP. U.S. goods imports from Russia totaled $27 billion, just under 0.2% of U.S. GDP.
The direct financial linkages between the United States and Russia are also small. According to [the Treasury Department] Russians hold $139 billion in U.S. Treasury securities and virtually no U.S. corporate bonds or equities -- at least directly. Russian direct investment in the United States also appears minimal. In the other direction, U.S. residents hold $70 billion in long-term securities and $14 billion in direct investment in Russia.
Meanwhile, the European Union is far more reliant on Russia for its economic health, as much of the E.U.'s supply of natural gas comes from Russian gas fields. This may explain why the E.U. has been less forceful than the U.S. in its sanctions announced this weekend.
By contrast, take a look at the United States' economic relationship with China. Unlike Russia, China is a very lucrative source for U.S. exports -- it constitutes a $300 billion market for U.S. firms if you combine both exports and sales in China by firms with U.S. investment, according to the Congressional Research Service. Total trade between China and the U.S. reached more than half a trillion dollars in 2013, a significant chunk of both countries' total economic output.
These statistics also help explain why China -- which often sides with Russia on questions brought to the United Nations Security Council -- abstained from a vote to condemn Russia's actions in Eastern Europe.