[Country map of Georgia]


Note--Georgia has been beset by ethnic and civil strife since independence. In late 1991, the country's first elected president, Zviad GAMSAKHURDIA was ousted in an armed coup. In October 1993, GAMSAKHURDIA, and his supporters sponsored a failed attempt to retake power from the current government led by former Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard SHEVARDNADZE. The Georgian government has also faced armed separatist conflicts in the Abkhazia and South Ossetia regions. A cease-fire went into effect in South Ossetia in June 1992 and a joint Georgian-Ossetian-Russian peacekeeping force has been in place since that time. Georgian forces were driven out of the Abkhaz region in September 1993 after a yearlong war with Abkhaz separatists. Nearly 200,000 Georgian refugees have since fled Abkhazia, adding substantially to the estimated 100,000 internally displaced persons already in Georgia. Russian peacekeepers are deployed along the border of Abkhazia and the rest of Georgia.


Location: Southwestern Asia, bordering the Black Sea, between Turkey and Russia

Map references: Middle East

total area: 69,700 sq km
land area: 69,700 sq km
comparative area: slightly larger than South Carolina

Land boundaries: total 1,461 km, Armenia 164 km, Azerbaijan 322 km, Russia 723 km, Turkey 252 km

Coastline: 310 km

Maritime claims: NA

International disputes: none

Climate: warm and pleasant; Mediterranean-like on Black Sea coast

Terrain: largely mountainous with Great Caucasus Mountains in the north and Lesser Caucasus Mountains in the south; Kolkhida Lowland opens to the Black Sea in the west; Mtkvari River Basin in the east; good soils in river valley flood plains, foothills of Kolkhida Lowland

Natural resources: forest lands, hydropower, manganese deposits, iron ores, copper, minor coal and oil deposits; coastal climate and soils allow for important tea and citrus growth

Land use:
arable land: 11%
permanent crops: 4%
meadows and pastures: 29%
forest and woodland: 38%
other: 18%

Irrigated land: 4,660 sq km (1990)

current 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
natural hazards: NA
international agreements: party to - Biodiversity, Climate Change, Ship Pollution; signed, but not ratified - Desertification


Population: 5,725,972 (July 1995 est.)

Age structure:
0-14 years: 24% (female 674,331; male 707,355)
15-64 years: 64% (female 1,894,681; male 1,791,847)
65 years and over: 12% (female 410,703; male 247,055) (July 1995 est.)

Population growth rate: 0.77% (1995 est.)

Birth rate: 15.77 births/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Death rate: 8.73 deaths/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Net migration rate: 0.66 migrant(s)/1,000 population (1995 est.)

Infant mortality rate: 22.6 deaths/1,000 live births (1995 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 73.1 years
male: 69.43 years
female: 76.95 years (1995 est.)

Total fertility rate: 2.16 children born/woman (1995 est.)

noun: Georgian(s)
adjective: Georgian

Ethnic divisions: Georgian 70.1%, Armenian 8.1%, Russian 6.3%, Azeri 5.7%, Ossetian 3%, Abkhaz 1.8%, other 5%

Religions: Georgian Orthodox 65%, Russian Orthodox 10%, Muslim 11%, Armenian Orthodox 8%, unknown 6%

Languages: Armenian 7%, Azeri 6%, Georgian 71% (official), Russian 9%, other 7%

Literacy: age 15 and over can read and write (1989)
total population: 99%
male: 100%
female: 98%

Labor force: 2.763 million
by occupation: industry and construction 31%, agriculture and forestry 25%, other 44% (1990)


conventional long form: Republic of Georgia
conventional short form: Georgia
local long form: Sak'art'velos Respublika
local short form: Sak'art'velo
former: Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic

Digraph: GG

Type: republic

Capital: T'bilisi

Administrative divisions: 2 autonomous republics (avtomnoy respubliki, singular - avtom respublika); Abkhazia (Sokhumi), Ajaria (Bat'umi)
note: the administrative centers of the autonomous republics are included in parentheses; there are no oblasts - the rayons around T'bilisi are under direct republic jurisdiction

Independence: 9 April 1991 (from Soviet Union)

National holiday: Independence Day, 26 May (1991)

Constitution: adopted 21 February 1921; currently amending constitution for Parliamentary and popular review by late 1995

Legal system: based on civil law system

Suffrage: 18 years of age; universal

Executive branch:
chief of state: Chairman of Parliament Eduard Amvrosiyevich SHEVARDNADZE (Chairman of the Government Council since 10 March 1992; elected Chairman of Parliament in 11 October 1992; note - the Government Council has since been disbanded); election last held 11 October 1992 (next to be held October 1995); results - Eduard SHEVARDNADZE 95%
head of government: Prime Minister Otar PATSATSIA (since September 1993); Deputy Prime Ministers Avtandil MARGIANI, Zurab KERVALISHVILI (since 25 November 1992), Tamaz NADAREISHVILI (since September 1993), Temur BASILIA (since 17 March 1994), Bakur GULA (since NA)
cabinet: Council of Ministers

Legislative branch: unicameral
Georgian Parliament (Supreme Soviet): elections last held 11 October 1992 (next to be held October 1995); results - percent of vote by party NA; seats - (225 total) number of seats by party NA

Judicial branch: Supreme Court

Political parties and leaders: Citizens Union (CU), Eduard SHEVARDNADZE, Zurab SHVANIA, general secretary; National Democratic Party (NDP), Georgi (Gia) CHANTURIA, Ivane GIORGADZE; United Republican Party, umbrella organization for parties including the GPF and the Charter 1991 Party, cochairmen Bakhtand DZABIRADZE, Notar NATADZE, and Theodor PAATASHVILI; Georgian Popular Front (GPF), Nodar NATADZE, chairman; Charter 1991 Party, Thedor PAATASHVILI; Georgian Social Democratic Party (GSDP), Guram MUCHAIDZE, secretary general; National Reconstruction and Rebirth of Georgia Union, Valerian ADVADZE; Christian Democratic Union (CDU), Irakli SHENGELAYA; Democratic Georgia Union (DGU), El'dar SHENGELAYA; National Independence Party (NIP), Irakliy TSERETELI, chairman; Georgian Monarchists' Party (GMP), Temur ZHORZHOLIANI; Green Party, Zurab ZHVANIA; Republican Party (RP), Ivliane KHAINDRAVA; Workers' Union of Georgia (WUG), Vakhtang GABUNIA; Agrarian Party of Georgia (APG), Roin LIPARTELIANI; Choice Society (Archevani), Jaba IOSELIANI, chairman; Georgian Workers Communist Party, Panteleimon GIORGADZE, chairman; National Liberation Front, Tengiz SIGULA, chairman

Other political or pressure groups: supporters of ousted President Zviad GAMSAKHURDIA (deceased 1 January 1994) boycotted the October elections and remain a source of opposition


Diplomatic representation in US:
chief of mission: Ambassador Tedo JAPARIDZE
chancery: (temporary) Suite 424, 1511 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005
telephone: [1] (202) 393-6060, 5959

US diplomatic representation:
chief of mission: Ambassador Kent N. BROWN
embassy: #25 Antoneli Street, T'bilisi 380026
mailing address: use embassy street address
telephone: [7] (8832) 98-99-67, 93-38-03
FAX: [7] (8832) 93-37-59

Flag: maroon field with small rectangle in upper hoist side corner; rectangle divided horizontally with black on top, white below


Overview: Georgia's economy has traditionally revolved around Black Sea tourism; cultivation of citrus fruits, tea, and grapes; mining of manganese and copper; and a small industrial sector producing wine, metals, machinery, chemicals, and textiles. The country imports the bulk of its energy needs, including natural gas and oil products. Its only sizable domestic energy resource is hydropower. Since 1990, widespread conflicts, e.g., in Abkhazia, South Ossetia, and Mingreliya, have severely aggravated the economic crisis resulting from the disintegration of the Soviet command economy in December 1991. Throughout 1993 and 1994, much of industry was functioning at only 20% of capacity; heavy disruptions in agricultural cultivation were reported; and tourism was shut down. The country is precariously dependent on US and EU humanitarian grain shipments, as most other foods are priced beyond reach of the average citizen. Georgia is also suffering from an acute energy crisis, as it is having problems paying for even minimal imports. Georgia is pinning its hopes for recovery on reestablishing trade ties with Russia and on developing international transportation through the key Black Sea ports of P'ot'i and Bat'umi. The government began a tenuous program in 1994 aiming to stabilize prices and reduce large consumer subsidies.

National product: GDP - purchasing power parity - $6 billion (1994 estimate as extrapolated from World Bank estimate for 1992)

National product real growth rate: -30% (1994 est.)

National product per capita: $1,060 (1994 est.)

Inflation rate (consumer prices): 40.5% per month (2nd half 1993 est.)

Unemployment rate: officially less than 5% but real unemployment may be more than 20%, with even larger numbers of underemployed workers

revenues: $NA
expenditures: $NA, including capital expenditures of $NA

Exports: $NA
commodities: citrus fruits, tea, wine, other agricultural products; diverse types of machinery; ferrous and nonferrous metals; textiles; chemicals; fuel re-exports
partners: Russia, Turkey, Armenia, Azerbaijan (1992)

Imports: $NA
commodities: fuel, grain and other foods, machinery and parts, transport equipment
partners: Russia, Azerbaijan, Turkey (1993); note - EU and US sent humanitarian food shipments

External debt: NA (T'bilisi owes about $400 million to Turkmenistan for natural gas as of January 1995)

Industrial production: growth rate -27% (1993); accounts for 36% of GDP

capacity: 4,410,000 kW
production: 9.1 billion kWh
consumption per capita: 1,526 kWh (1993)

Industries: heavy industrial products include raw steel, rolled steel, airplanes; machine tools, foundry equipment, electric locomotives, tower cranes, electric welding equipment, machinery for food preparation and meat packing, electric motors, process control equipment, instruments; trucks, tractors, and other farm machinery; light industrial products, including cloth, hosiery, and shoes; chemicals; wood-working industries; the most important food industry is wine

Agriculture: accounted for 97% of former USSR citrus fruits and 93% of former USSR tea; important producer of grapes; also cultivates vegetables and potatoes; dependent on imports for grain, dairy products, sugar; small livestock sector

Illicit drugs: illicit cultivator of cannabis and opium poppy; mostly for domestic consumption; used as transshipment point for illicit drugs to Western Europe

Economic aid:
recipient: heavily dependent on US and EU for humanitarian grain shipments; EC granted around $70 million in trade credits in 1992 and another $40 million in 1993; Turkey granted $50 million in 1993; smaller scale credits granted by Russia and China

Currency: coupons introduced in April 1993 to be followed by introduction of the lari at undetermined future date; in July 1993 use of the Russian ruble was banned

Exchange rates: coupons per $US1 - 1,280,000 (end December 1994)

Fiscal year: calendar year


total: 1,570 km in common carrier service; does not include industrial lines
broad gauge: 1,570 km 1.520-m gauge (1990)

total: 33,900 km
paved and graveled: 29,500 km
unpaved: earth 4,400 km (1990)

Pipelines: crude oil 370 km; refined products 300 km; natural gas 440 km (1992)

Ports: Bat'umi, P'ot'i, Sokhumi

Merchant marine:
total: 32 ships (1,000 GRT or over) totaling 419,416 GRT/640,897 DWT
ships by type: bulk 11, cargo 1, oil tanker 19, short-sea passenger 1

total: 28
with paved runways over 3,047 m: 1
with paved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
with paved runways 1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
with paved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 1
with paved runways under 914 m: 1
with unpaved runways over 3,047 m: 1
with unpaved runways 2,438 to 3,047 m: 1
with unpaved runways 1,524 to 2,438 m: 1
with unpaved runways 914 to 1,523 m: 5
with unpaved runways under 914 m: 6

Note: transportation network is in poor condition and disrupted by ethnic conflict, criminal activities, and fuel shortages; network lacks maintenance and repair


Telephone system: 672,000 telephones (mid-1993); 117 telephones/1,000 persons; poor telephone service; 339,000 unsatisfied applications for telephones (December 1990)
local: NA
intercity: NA
international: links via landline to CIS members and Turkey; low-capacity satellite link and leased international connections via the Moscow international gateway switch with other countries; international electronic mail and telex service available

broadcast stations: AM NA, FM NA, shortwave NA
radios: NA

broadcast stations: NA
televisions: NA

Defense Forces

Branches: Army, Navy, Air Force, Interior Ministry Troops, Border Guards/National Guard

Manpower availability: males age 15-49 1,385,593; males fit for military service 1,095,835; males reach military age (18) annually 42,207 (1995 est.)

Defense expenditures: exchange rate conversion - $85 million, NA% of GDP (1992)

Note: Georgian forces are poorly organized and not fully under the government's control