The Russian parliament in October unanimously ratified two agreements that create a Russian-Belarusan military alliance. A treaty on military cooperation defines the Russia-Belarus Union as a “common strategic space”; provides for joint budgeting, production and procurement of armaments; gives Russian troops access to Belarus and use of its military infrastructure; and establishes conditions for the joint use of military force. An agreement on regional security provides for joint Russian-Belarusan force groups, the first of what the Russian General Staff hopes will be a series of agreements bringing forces of post-Soviet countries into “regional groups” under Russian control…. Last week, top officials of the Russian and Belarusan security services met in Moscow to discuss ways to deal with threats from third countries, protect “the Union’s external borders,” and conduct joint counterintelligence operations.