Belarus has had a long and devastating history that intertwines them with several different countries. The country has always been filled with war and strife as far back as records can date. During just the 19th and 20th centuries, Belarus was plagued with the Germans and Russians fighting in World War I, and they were severely plundered during World War II by many different foreigners. In 1918, the area now known as Belarus became a part of Russia after the Russo-German treaty, which helped end World War I. Despite the tight grip that Russia held on most of its republics, it allowed Belarus to establish individual ties with the United Nations. In 1991, after the USSR dissolved, Belarus claimed its independence and the republic's Communist party (CPB) appeared to take over. For the next few years the idea of a constitution and new leadership filled the country's atmosphere. Belarus has remained the closest country to Russia in hopes of becoming a member of the international community and has, within the last year, signed a treaty with Russia, which states that each country, Russia and Belarus, will work for greater agreement politically, economically and socially.