Georgia is located in the central and western part of the Caucasus. The total area of the Republic is 69 700 km². The total length of Georgian border is 1,461 km, the part with Armenia is 164 km, with Azerbaijan - 322 km, with Russia - 723 km, with Turkey - 252 km. The Black Sea coastline is 310 km long.
A large part of the territory is formed by mountains: in the north - Greater Caucasus, in the south - Small Caucasus mountain range (highest peaks are Shkhara at 5068 m and Kazbek at 5033 m), but among them is also Kolhida lowlands, Cartlia and the Alazni Valley. Georgia's lowest point is in the Black sea (0 m above sea level), while the highest point is Shkhara (5068 m above sea level). The largest river is Rioni, lakes - Paleostomi and Alazni.
The climate in the west of Georgia is subtropical, in the east it is moderate. January sees an average air temperature of + 3 ° C (Kolhida Valley) to -2 ° C (Iverija Valley), August average temperature of + 23 ° C to + 25 ° C. The climatic conditions and soil allow the cultivation of tea and citrus fruits. The rainfall in the west is up to 2800 mm per year, while in the east up to 600 mm per year.
There are many mineral and thermal springs in the Republic, which led to about 50 therapeutic resorts being created, including Borjomi, Tskaltubo, Mendigi, Sairme, etc. For the protection of natural objects and areas of beauty, 15 restricted areas and Tbilisi National Park were created.
Cropland occupies 11.51% of the territory of Georgia, with 3.79% of it relating to cereals and 84.7% to other crops. Major Georgian natural resources include forests, hydropower, manganese and iron ore deposits, as well as small coal and oil reserves.
Georgia is located in a seismically active zone.
According to the data of UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Georgia's population by 2020 was 3.776 million, of which 47.1% were men and 52.9% were women.
According to the national composition, in Georgia live Georgians (86.83%), Azerbaijanis (6.27%), Armenians (4.53), Russians (0.71%), Ossetians (0.39%), Yazidis (0.16%), as well as Greeks, Kists, Ukrainians, Jews, Abkhazians, Assyrians and other nationalities.
The official language of Georgia is Georgian. In terms of religion, 80% of the Georgian population are Orthodox Christians, 10% are Georgian and Azerbaijani Muslims, 3% are Armenian Orthodox and less than 7% are Catholics, Protestants and other denominations.
According to the current administrative division, Georgia is composed of: the capital of Tbilisi, two autonomous republics (the Autonomous republic of Adjara, center-Batumi, and the Autonomous Republic of Abkhazia, center-Sukhumi) as well as 9 regions. These regions are Kakheti, Shida Kartli (Kartli historic region, northern part of the region - the so-called South Ossetia - occupied Russia, the center of Gori), Kvemo Kartlie (center - Rustavi), Mtskheta Mtianeti (Mtskheta), Samtskhe-Javakhety (Akhaltsikhe), Imereti (Kutaisi), Racha-Lechkhumi and Lejassvantiti (Ambrolauri); Guria (Ozurgeti), Samegrelo-Zemo Svanetti (Upper Switzerland, center - Zugdidi). In turn, the regions are divided into 71 municipalities (former districts).
The capital of the Republic is Tbilisi, which has about 1.3 million inhabitants. The largest cities are Kutaisi (241,000 inhabitants), Rustavi (158,000 inhabitants), Batumi (137,100 inhabitants), Zugdidi (105,000 inhabitants), Chiatura (70,000 inhabitants), Gori (70,000 inhabitants) and P’ot’i (50,000 inhabitants).
Georgia's GDP in 2018 amounted to 16.21 billion USD. Thanks to exports, in 2019 the Georgian economy grew by 5.2%. GDP per capita in 2018 was 4469 USD. The annual inflation rate as of January 2020 was 6.4%, the interest rate – 9%, the unemployment rate – 12.7%, the average salary – 1217 GEL (435.389 USD) per month, international currency reserves – 0.968 billion USD.
According to preliminary data from the National Statistics Service of Georgia, Georgia's foreign trade turnover in 2019 increased by 2.7% and amounted to 12.8 billion USD. In 2019, compared to 2018, Georgia's exports increased by 12.4% to $ 3.8 billion, while Georgia's imports decreased by 0.8% to $ 9.1 billion. Georgia's foreign trade deficit was $ 5.3 billion.
In 2019, trade turnover with EU countries decreased by 2.8% – to 3.1 billion USD. At the same time, Georgia's exports to the EU increased by 13% to USD 825.7 million, while imports decreased by 7.4% to USD 2.3 billion.
In 2019, the trade turnover with the CIS countries increased by 1.8% and amounted to 4.4 billion USD. Exports to the CIS countries increased by 20% to USD 2 billion, while imports decreased by 9.5% to USD 2.4 billion.
Georgia's top ten trading partners in 2019: Turkey ($ 1.8 billion), Russia ($ 1.5 billion), China ($ 1.1 billion), Azerbaijan ($ 1.1 billion), Armenia (679.7 million (USD 659.5 million), the United States (USD 521.9 million), Germany (USD 497.4 million), Bulgaria (USD 408.2 million), Romania (USD 390.2 million).
Georgia's largest export partners: Azerbaijan ($ 498.7 million), Russia ($ 497.1 million), Armenia ($ 412.2 million), Bulgaria ($ 284.2 million), Ukraine ($ 244.7 million) .
Major trading partners in terms of imports: Turkey (USD 1.6 billion), Russia (USD 975.9 million), China (USD 858.7 million), Azerbaijan (USD 559.1 million), Germany (USD 443 million).
In 2019, Georgia exported: car re-exports (USD 686.7 million), copper ores and concentrates (USD 651.6 million), ferro-alloys (USD 303 million), wine (USD 222.9 million), pharmaceuticals (USD 172 million). $ 5 million), mineral waters ($ 133.6 million), alcoholic beverages ($ 129.3 million), nitrogen fertilizers ($ 94.9 million), gold ($ 72.8 million), nuts ($ 66.7 million ) and other products ($ 1.2 billion).
In 2019, Georgia imported: oil and oil products ($ 757 million), passenger cars ($ 653.7 million), copper ores and concentrates ($ 603.7 million), pharmaceuticals ($ 355.4 million), oil gas ( $ 328.5 million), mobile phones ($ 212 million), wheat ($ 105.1 million), cigarettes ($ 104.8 million), new tires ($ 90.9 million), electricity ($ 78.3 million ) and other goods (USD 5.8 billion).
President of Georgia Salome Zourabichvili
On November 28, 2018, Salome Zurabishvili was elected President of Georgia in the second round of the presidential election with 59.52% voter support.
S.Zurabishvili, who was supported by the Georgian party "Georgia's Dream", participated in the elections as an independent member of the Georgian parliament. Born in Paris to a family of Georgian emigrants, she graduated from the Paris Institute of Political Science and Columbia University in the United States, and has pursued a career at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, working as First Secretary at the French Embassy in the United States. In 2003, she arrived in Georgia as the French Ambassador, and in 2004 she became the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia (in the government of Mikhail Saakashvili). After a year and a half (in 2005), she resigned and was formed the opposition party "Georgia's Road". She actively participated in the 2007 and 2009 protests in Georgia. In 2010 he announced her withdrawal from politics and began chairing a commission on issues of sanctions against Iran in the UN Security Council.
Amendments to the Georgian Constitution in 2017 determined the country's transition to a parliamentary form of public administration, envisaging the Georgian president to perform representative functions and to elect a president for six years term instead of five. The 2018 presidential election was the last time the president was elected by population vote. From 2024, the President of Georgia will no longer be elected by the people, but by 300 specially elected representatives – members of the parliament, the Supreme Council of Abkhazia in Georgia, the Autonomous Republic of Adjara and representation of regional self-governing bodies.
Under the current Georgian constitution, the president remains head of state and commander-in-chief of the Georgian Armed Forces, the country's highest representative in foreign relations and leader Georgia's domestic and foreign policy, ensuring the unity and integrity and work of the country and all its institutions, but all his decisions and work must be agreed with the government. The president reserves the right to pardon prisoners, as well as the right to veto bills on referendums and projects on laws passed by the Parliament.
Prime minister of Georgia Giorgy Gakharia
Georgy Gahari was elected Prime Minister on September 8, 2019 with 98 support of Parlieament members. The opposition party did not take part in the vote. G. Gahariya was born in 1975. From November 13, 2017 to September 9, 2019, he was the Minister of Internal Affairs of Georgia.
In his first post-accession statement, Gahariya confirmed that he would continue on the path to Georgia's accession to the EU and NATO and deepen relations with the United States. Gahariya noted the occupation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia as the biggest problem in Georgia today.
Minister of Foreign Affairs of Georgia David Zalkaliani
David Zalkaliani (born 1968) was appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs on June 21, 2018. D.Zalkaliani is a member of the power party "Georgia's Dream".
Minister of Defence of Georgia Irakliy Garibashvili
Irakliy Garibashvili (born 1982) was appointed Minister of Defense on September 9, 2019. I.Garibashvili is a member of the power party "Georgia's Dream", and from November 20, 2013 to December 23, 2015, he was the 11th Prime Minister of Georgia.
Georgia's informal leader, Bidzina Ivanishvili
Bidzina Ivanishvili (born in 1956), the founder of the power party "Georgia's Dream – Democratic Georgia", is considered to be Georgia's most influential person or "gray cardinal".
B.Ivanishvili is considered to be the richest Georgian in the world. According to Forbes, Ivanišvili ranked 298th in the rating of the richest people in the world in 2016, and his wealth was estimated at 4.8 billion USD. Ivanishvili has gained his wealth by doing business in Russia. The Georgian opposition believes that Behind B.Ivanishvili's policy "stands Russian money".
Ivanišvili himself justified his entry into politics with the need to change the country's constitution and put an end to the monopolization of power by the then President of Georgia Mikhail Saakashvili.
Georgia's domestic politics before the forthcoming parliamentary elections on October 31, 2020 is politically unstable. The country is protesting against decisions taken by parliament, social and economic problems have worsened and crime has risen sharply.
The party "Georgia's Dream – Democratic Georgia", which won the 2016 parliamentary elections, has lost its constitutional majority in 2019, as well as is experiencing a split within the party. The ruling party is experiencing a crisis of confidence in society.
In October 2019, the Georgian authorities announced the abandonment of the promised commitment to pass over to a fully proportional electoral system already in the 2020 parliamentary elections, which provoked a new wave of protests in the country. The Georgian opposition, led by former President Mikheil Saakashvili's the former United National Movement party, is demanding the withdrawal from politics of B.Ivanishvili, the founder of the ruling Georgian Dream – Democratic Georgia party, the dismissal of the government and the holding of early parliamentary elections before the due term.
The current domestic political situation in Georgia creates an unpredictable and unstable political environment ahead of the forthcoming parliamentary elections on October 31, 2020, in which the main struggle will be between the former "United National Movement" and the current power party "Georgia's Dream – Democratic Georgia".
Georgia has mainstreamed its integration into European and Euro-Atlantic structures, cooperation with its neighbours, deepening its strategic partnership with the United States, consolidating relations with Russia, deo-occupying Georgia and restoring its territorial integrity.
The Georgian government's program confirms the continuation of the country's foreign policy course in European and Euro-Atlantic structures and Georgia's efforts to "actively and fully exploit the potential of relations with the United States in various directions". The program defines the organization of free trade with the EU, strengthening regional relations with Azerbaijan, Turkey and Armenia as priority areas.
As for Russia, the Georgian government believes that relations with Russia are important to Georgia and that Tbilisi will continue its policy of de-escalation policy towards Russia. At the same time, a compromise on national sovereignty and territorial integrity issues is not possible.