Europe: Georgia

About Georgia

Georgia was absorbed into the Russian Empire in the 19th century. Independent for three years (1918-1921) following the Russian revolution, it was forcibly incorporated into the USSR until the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. Russian troops remain garrisoned at four military bases and as peacekeepers in the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia (but are scheduled to withdraw from two of the bases by July 2001). Despite a badly degraded transportation network - brought on by ethnic conflict, criminal activities, and fuel shortages - the country continues to move toward a market economy and greater integration with Western institutions.

Vital Statistics
Capitol City: T'bilisi
Population: 4,989,285 (July 2001 est.)
Percent below poverty: 60% (1999 est.)
Language: Georgian 71% (official), Russian 9%, Armenian 7%, Azeri 6%, other 7%
Date of independence: 9 April 1991 (from Soviet Union)
Form of government: republic
Title of Leader: president
Natural Resources: forests, hydropower, manganese deposits, iron ore, copper, minor coal and oil deposits; coastal climate and soils allow for important tea and citrus growth
Environmental Issues: air pollution, particularly in Rust'avi; heavy pollution of Mtkvari River and the Black Sea; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil pollution from toxic chemicals
Agricultural Products: citrus, grapes, tea, vegetables, potatoes; livestock
Imports: fuel, grain and other foods, machinery and parts, transport equipment
Exports: citrus fruits, tea, wine, other agricultural products; diverse types of machinery and metals; chemicals; fuel reexports; textiles
Trading Partners: IMPORTS: EU 22%, Russia 19%, Turkey 12%, US 12% (1999)
EXPORTS: Russia 19%, Turkey 16%, Azerbaijan 8%, Armenia 6% (1999)


Georgia Headlines

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