You are required to post 1 thread of at least 400 words and 2 replies of at least 200 words each. For each thread, you must support your assertions with at least 4 different resources citing them in current APA format. For your 2 replies, you must incorporate a minimum of 2 different resources citing them in current APA format. You may use the textbook, scholarly journals, the Bible, and governmental websites.
Reply: Post a substantive written response to 2 other classmates’ threads. Your response must identify specific weakness(es) as well as note the strengths of the post. By identifying a weakness (content based, not a spelling/grammatical aspect), you display the critical thinking skills required in a graduate course. Refrain from making statements like “I really couldn’t find a weakness to your thread but the assignment required it . . . ’’+ an insubstantial critique, as this is your chance to help your peer write stronger in their future threads. You should put as much time into your reply phase as you do your thread. The strongest scores on that portion are reserved for those replies that incorporate specific evidence rather than making opinion-based statements. Please maintain the proper tone in your critique by addressing the issues instead of attacking the person.
First student- Loui
Economic trade is vital to all countries. What one country has or produces, another country wants, and vice versa. Local economies, as well as national economies benefit when products and services can cross boarders. But what happens when a larger country attempts to dominate smaller member countries in a regional trade agreement? A prime example to that question is Russia; who uses its size and economic power in the region to bully smaller countries in the region to get its way to vital resources such as gas.
The Russian Belarus Union
Belarus and Russia have been economic companions since the fall of the USSR. According to Lynch (2010): “Belarus and Russia have the closest integration of any of the CIS states” (p.192). Belarus has become dependent on Russia, and in many cases must comply with Russian demands. In an article discussing Russia’s hunger for energy, Blank (2011) discusses how Russia has become a big player in energy imports from the nations that surround it, and into Europe, and Arab nations. Blank discusses how Russia is now bullying Belarus to comply with Russian demands. Among many of the demands placed on Belarus, Blank (2011) states: “…Moscow has waged a gas war against Belarus…” (p.175), demanding “…Belarus to acknowledge Russia’s hegemony in the CIS and accept Russia’s terms for entry into the CIS customs union and Eurasian Economic Space…” (p.175). Being that Belarus is dependent on Russia, Belarus has no choice but to comply.
Russia uses energy to dominate over most of the smaller countries within the CIS; Ukraine is no different from any of the other smaller CIS members. Over the recent years Russia has bullied Ukraine, and continues to do so today, most recently annexing territory in Ukraine. According to Blank (2010) Ukraine reaffirmed its dependency on Russian fuel by signing a deal that would guarantee Russian fuel exports to Ukraine in exchange for Black Sea port access (p.176). Blank goes on to state: “This deal significantly undermines Ukraine’s effective political and economic sovereignty since Russian energy manipulations constitute the foundation for the pervasive corruption of Ukrainian politics…” (p.176) Russian dominance will surely last as long as there is no international intervention to help smaller dependent CIS countries to become independent from Russia.
Belarus is considered one of the last dictatorships in Europe. The Belarusian government controls religious practices. According to the U.S. State Department, the Belarusian Constitution allows for religious freedom (Belarus, n.d., p.1). However: “The [Belarusian] government generally [restricts] religious freedom in law and in practice” (Belarus, n.d., p.1). In situations like this, sometimes all Christians can do is pray Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko falls out of power, and is replaced by a leader who supports religious freedoms to all religions. Mission Eurasia is an organization in many Eurasian nations that train individuals to become Christian leaders within many Eurasian nations. Mission Eurasia registered as a religious organization in Belarus before Belarus tightened its laws on religion, thus it has more freedom to spread the Word of God (Belarus… n.d.). Missionaries are not allowed in Belarus; however, Mission Eurasia is allowed to train Belarusians to be leaders in God’s Great Commission (Belarus… n.d.). Spreading God’s Word can be dangerous, but God can, and will find a way so that the world can hear about the Good News.
Belarus. (n.d.). Retrieved August 6, 2015, from http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/171684.pdf
Belarus | Mission Eurasia. (n.d.). Retrieved August 6, 2015, from https://missioneurasia.org/where-we-work/belarus/
Blank, S. (2011). Russian energy and russian security. The Whitehead Journal of Diplomacy and International Relations, 12(1), 173-188. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/875634964?accountid=12085
Lynch, David A., (2010). Trade and Globalization: An Introduction to Regional Trade Agreements. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. VitalBook file.
Second Student- Monica Fields
The former Soviet republics, consists of 15 independent states that emerged from the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics in December 1991 with Russia. Out of the 15 states that was originally with the former Soviet republics only 12 states still remain. The two Regional Trade Agreements that are associated with the former Soviet republic is the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and The Eurasian Economic Community (EURASEC).
The Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was created in 1991 by12 republic states within its region including Russia. The purpose for creating the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was for the organization to coordinate policies for their member states regarding their foreign relations, law enforcement, immigration policies, economies, defense, humanitarian, cultural concerns, and environmental protection. (MFA, 2014.)
The Eurasian Economic Community (EURASEC) was created in 1996 by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) to establish a common external economic policy, common customs area, tariffs, prices, and other components of the common market’s functioning. Eurasian Economic Community also provide capital and labor that is a policy within their Treaty and international agreements within the Union. (IDW, 2012.)
The Commonwealth of Independent States occupies most of the territories that were once under the Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR). The CIS is dominated by Russia’s federation and hold a big influence through economic, political, and defense tie. Russia is the main energy source supplier to the member states that is associated with the CIS. Majority of the member states share very similar political heritages, security forces, the distribution power within the judicial system, and the legislative branches of the government. (Deibert, 2012.)
The Eurasian Economic Community (EURASEC) helps harmonize the economic and social policies that would help in aiding the fuel between Russia and Kazakstan. Due to the continued issues it caused economic stability to decrease in majority of the countries which it will be of a benefit to settle. (Banyan, 2014.)
The Gospel of Christ should indeed be shared through Russia’s region. I would recommend the missionary to first seek God in prayer and ask him to lead them in sharing the Gospel to regions that are outwardly rejecting the Gospel. When trying to share the Gospel I would advise them to first look for the people who are in a trouble spot rather it be homeless, in a financial bind, family issues, or anyone who feel down on their luck. People that are in pain at times tend to be very easy to minister to because they are hurt and they are looking for some hope and is more likely to accept the Gospel and love of Christ.
I feel it is important to spread the Gospel to these countries because it will better help them in how they interact with one another and it will help when enforcing laws. Sharing the Gospel will also help these countries because they are lost and need to know God and know that he love them to.
MFA. (2014.) Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Belarus. Commonwealth of Independent States. Retrieved From:http://mfa.gov.by/en/organizations/membership/list/c2bd4cebdf6bd9f9.html
Deibert, J. (2012.) Open Net Initiative. Commonwealth of Independent States. Retrieved From:https://opennet.net/research/regions/cis
Banyan (2014.) The Economist. Introducing the Eurasian Economic Union. Where three is a crowd. Retrieved From:http://www.economist.com/blogs/banyan/2014/05/introducing-eurasian-economic-union
IDW. (2012.) IDW International Democracy Watch. Commonwealth of Independent States. Retrieved From:http://www.internationaldemocracywatch.org/index.php/commonwealth-of-indipendent-states
A sample of a students reply for Louie- Please do it accodingly
The purpose of this post is to analyze a strength and a weakness of Louie Rodriguez’s Forum 6 Discussion on two former Soviet Union RTAs, the members’ current relationships with Russia, and the importance of evangelizing to nations where religious freedom is not practiced. A strength of Louie’s post was his descriptions of the two RTAs and their members’ relationships with Russia. A weakness of his post was the transitions between paragraphs and new topics. This discussion reply will provide additional information that further supports Louie’s assertions.
Strengths: Descriptions of the two RTAs and their members’ relationships with Russia
A strength of Louie’s post was his descriptions of the two RTAs and their members’ relationships with Russia. In each RTA (The Russian Belarus Union and the CIS), Louie was able to provide a descriptive, informative, and thorough explanation of the characteristics of the agreements as well as the member nations’ relationships with Russia. For example, in the first summary of the Russian Belarus Union, Louie notes that Belarus and Russia “have been economic companions since the fall of the USSR” and that “Belarus is dependent on Russia” and therefore is forced to conform in many instances. Economist, Bogdanovich supports Louie’s assertion in his article, “Economic Integration Between Belarus and Russia”. He says, “of all the countries, the Republic of Belarus and the Russian Federation have been most consistent in pursuing economic integration” (Bogdanovich, 2005). Bogdanovich continues, noting, “During the Soviet Period, the Russian Federation was Belarus’s most important economic partner, and today, the two economics have remained mutually complementary”, whether Belarus desires or not (2005). What he means to say is that it would be extremely detrimental to Belarus to cut ties with Russia. In Louie’s analysis of the CIS and the Ukraine’s relationship with Russia, he mentions that Ukraine has been “bullied” by Russia since the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Economist Intelligence Unit notes in an article entitled, “Ukraine economy: Ukraine-Russia Trade Relations”, “Notwithstanding recent progress in resolving its bilateral disputes, Ukraine’s trade relationship with Russian remains tense” (Ukraine Economy, 2003). Louie did a great job of providing detail and clarity in each of these summaries/analyses – these additional resources are to further support his original post.
Weakness: Transitions between paragraphs and new topics
Louie wrote an exceptional post. Perhaps one weakness that could have made it even better were the transitions between paragraphs and new topics. While Louie offered plently of information and pertinent facts, the transitions were lacking, which would have brought the whole discussion together better. By introducing his next topic in a way that shows the relationship to the previous topic, there could have been better flow. Regardless, Louie did a wonderful job on the post, and his writing gave great detail and information that helped me get a better understanding of former Soviet Union RTAs and the importance of evangelizing to countries where religious freedom is not accepted/practiced. Great job Louie!
Bogdanovich, A. V. (2005). Economic Integration Between Belarus and Russia. Problems Of Economic Transition, 47(12), 65-74. Retrieved from, http://bx7pv2zc6r.search.serialssolutions.com/?ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&ctx_enc=info%3Aofi%2Fenc%3AUTF-8&rfr_id=info:sid/summon.serialssolutions.com&rft_val_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:journal&rft.genre=article&rft.atitle=Economic+Integration+Between+Belarus+and+Russia&rft.jtitle=Problems+of+Economic+Transition&rft.au=Bogdanovich%2C+A.V&rft.series=Problems+of+Economic+Transition&rft.date=2005&rft.pub=M.E.+Sharpe%2C+Inc&rft.issn=1061-1991&rft.eissn=1557-931X&rft.volume=47&rft.issue=12&rft.spage=65&rft.epage=74&rft.externalDocID=mesprectr_v_3a47_3ay_3a2005_3ai_3a12_3ap_3a65_74_htm¶mdict=en-US
Ukraine economy: Ukraine-russia trade relations. (2003). (). New York: The Economist Intelligence Unit N.A., Incorporated. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/366528800?accountid=9858