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INTRODUCTION


 
The region of present day Georgia contained the ancient kingdoms of Colchis and Kartli-Iberia. The area came under Roman influence in the first centuries A.D. and Christianity became the state religion in the 330s. Domination by Persians, Arabs, and Turks was followed by a Georgian golden age (11th-13th centuries) that was cut short by the Mongol invasion of 1236. Subsequently, the Ottoman and Persian empires competed for influence in the region. 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. An attempt by the incumbent Georgian government to manipulate national legislative elections in November 2003 touched off widespread protests that... See More



GEOGRAPHY


Location:

 Southwestern Asia, bordering the Black Sea, between Turkey and Russia, with a sliver of land north of the Caucasus extending into Europe

Geographic Coordinates:

 42 00 N, 43 30 E

Area:

 Total: 69,700 sq km
Land: 69,700 sq km
Water: 0 sq km

Area - Comparative:

 Slightly smaller than South Carolina

Land Boundaries:

 Total: 1,461 km
Border countries: Armenia 164 km, Azerbaijan 322 km, Russia 723 km, Turkey 252 km

Coastline:

 310 km (Rank: 133)

Maritime Claims:

 Territorial sea: 12 nm
Exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

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; Kolkhet'is Dablobi (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

Elevation Extremes:

 Lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
Highest point: Mt'a Shkhara 5,201 m

Natural Resources:

 Timber, hydropower, manganese deposits, iron ore, copper, minor coal and oil deposits; coastal climate and soils allow for important tea and citrus growth

Land Use:

 Arable land: 11.51%
Permanent crops: 3.79%
Other: 84.7% (2005)

Irrigated Land:

 4,330 sq km (2008)

Total Renewable Water Resources:

 63.3 cu km (1997)

Freshwater Withdrawal:

 Total: 3.61 cu km/yr (20%/21%/59%)
Per capita: 808 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural Hazards:

 Earthquakes

Environment - 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

Environment - International Agreements:

 Party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

Signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - Note:

 Strategically located east of the Black Sea; Georgia controls much of the Caucasus Mountains and the routes through them

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PEOPLE AND SOCIETY


Nationality:

 Noun: Georgian(s)
Adjective: Georgian

Ethnic Groups:

 Georgian 83.8%, Azeri 6.5%, Armenian 5.7%, Russian 1.5%, other 2.5% (2002 census)

Languages:

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

Note: Abkhaz is the official language in Abkhazia

Religions:

 Orthodox Christian (official) 83.9%, Muslim 9.9%, Armenian-Gregorian 3.9%, Catholic 0.8%, other 0.8%, none 0.7% (2002 census)

Population:

 4,585,874 (July 2011 est.)

Age Structure:

 0-14 years: 15.6% (male 383,856/female 333,617)
15-64 years: 68.3% (male 1,511,844/female 1,620,727)
65 years and over: 16% (male 293,143/female 442,687) (2011 est.)

Median Age:

 Total: 39.1 years
Male: 36.6 years
Female: 41.6 years (2011 est.)

Population Growth Rate:

 -0.326% (2011 est.)

Birth Rate:

 10.73 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Death Rate:

 9.92 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)

Net Migration Rate:

 -4.06 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)

Urbanization:

 Urban population: 53% of total population (2010)
Rate of urbanization: -0.4% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)

Major Cities - Population:

 TBILISI (capital) 1.115 million (2009)

Sex Ratio:

 At birth: 1.113 male(s)/female
Under 15 years: 1.15 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.66 male(s)/female
Total population: 0.91 male(s)/female (2011 est.)

Maternal Mortality Rate:

 48 deaths/100,000 live births (2008)

Infant Mortality Rate:

 Total: 15.17 deaths/1,000 live births
Male: 17.1 deaths/1,000 live births
Female: 13.02 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)

Life Expectancy At Birth:

 Total population: 77.12 years
Male: 73.8 years
Female: 80.82 years (2011 est.)

Total Fertility Rate:

 1.45 children born/woman (2011 est.)

Health Expenditures:

 11.3% of GDP (2009)

Physicians Density:

 4.538 physicians/1,000 population (2007)

Hospital Bed Density:

 3.32 beds/1,000 population (2007)

Drinking Water Source:

 Urban: 100% of population
Rural: 96% of population
Total: 98% of population
Unimproved:
Urban: 0% of population
Rural: 4% of population
Total: 2% of population (2008)

Sanitation Facility Access:

 Urban: 96% of population
Rural: 93% of population
Total: 95% of population
Unimproved:
Urban: 4% of population
Rural: 7% of population
Total: 5% of population (2008)

HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence Rate:

 0.1% (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - People Living With HIV/AIDS:

 3,500 (2009 est.)

HIV/AIDS - Deaths:

 Fewer than 100 (2009 est.)

Children Under 5 - Underweight:

 2.3% (2005)

Education Expenditures:

 3.2% of GDP (2009)

Literacy:

 Definition: age 15 and over can read and write
Total population: 100%
Male: 100%
Female: 100% (2004 est.)

Average Years of Schooling:

 Total: 13 years
Male: 13 years
Female: 13 years (2009)

Unemployment, Youth Ages 15-24:

 Total: 35.5%
Male: 32.4%
Female: 40.7% (2008)

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GOVERNMENT


Country Name:

 Conventional long form: none
Conventional short form: Georgia
Local long form: none
Local short form: Sak'art'velo
Former: Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic

Government Type:

 Republic

Capital:

 Name: T'bilisi
Geographic coordinates: 41 43 N, 44 47 E
Time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC during Standard Time)

Administrative Divisions:

 9 regions (mkharebi, singular - mkhare), 1 city (k'alak'i), and 2 autonomous republics (avtomnoy respubliki, singular - avtom respublika)

Regions: Guria, Imereti, Kakheti, Kvemo Kartli, Mtskheta-Mtianeti, Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, Samegrelo and Zemo Svaneti, Samtskhe-Javakheti, Shida Kartli

City: Tbilisi

Autonomous republics: Abkhazia or Ap'khazet'is Avtonomiuri Respublika (Sokhumi), Ajaria or Acharis Avtonomiuri Respublika (Bat'umi)

Note: the administrative centers of the two autonomous republics are shown in parentheses

Independence:

 9 April 1991 (from the Soviet Union); notable earlier date: A.D. 1008 (Georgia unified under BAGRAT III)

National Holiday:

 Independence Day, 26 May (1918); note - 26 May 1918 was the date of independence from Soviet Russia, 9 April 1991 was the date of independence from the Soviet Union

Constitution:

 Adopted 24 August 1995

Legal System:

 Civil law system

International Law Organization Participation:

 Accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

Suffrage:

 18 years of age; universal

Executive Branch:

 Chief of state: President Mikheil SAAKASHVILI (since 25 January 2004); the president is the chief of state and serves as head of government for the power ministries of internal affairs and defense

Head of government: Prime Minister Nikoloz GILAURI (since 6 February 2009); the prime minister is head of government for all the ministries of government except the power ministries of internal affairs and defense

Cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers

Elections: president elected by popular vote for a five-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 5 January 2008 (next to be held in January 2013)

Election results: Mikheil SAAKASHVILI reelected president; percent of vote - Mikheil SAAKASHVILI 53.5%, Levan GACHECHILADZE 25.7%, Badri PATARKATSISHVILI 7.1%, other 13.7%

Legislative Branch:

 Unicameral Parliament or Parlamenti (also known as Supreme Council or Umaghlesi Sabcho) (150 seats; 75 members elected by proportional representation, 75 from single-seat constituencies; members to serve four-year terms)

Elections: last held on 21 May 2008 (next to be held in the spring of 2012)

Election results: percent of vote by party - United National Movement 59.2%, National Council-New Rights (a Joint Opposition, nine-party bloc) 17.7%, Christian Democratic Movement 8.8%, Labor Party 7.4%, Republican Party 3.8%; seats by party - United National Movement 120, National Council-New Rights 16, Christian Democratic Movement 6, Labor Party 6, Republican Party 2

Judicial Branch:

 Supreme Court (judges elected by the Supreme Council on the president's or chairman of the Supreme Court's recommendation); Constitutional Court; first and second instance courts

Political Parties and Leaders:

 Christian Democratic Movement [Giorgi TARGAMADZE]; Conservative Party [Kakha KUKAVA]; Democratic Movement United Georgia [Nino BURJANADZE]; For Fair Georgia [Zurab NOGAIDELI]; Georgian Party [Sozar SUBARI]; Georgian People's Front [Nodar NATADZE]; Greens [Giorgi GACHECHILADZE]; Industry Will Save Georgia (Industrialists) or IWSG [Georgi TOPADZE]; Labor Party [Shalva NATELASHVILI]; National Democratic Party or NDP [Bachuki KARDAVA]; National Forum [Kakhaber SHARTAVA]; New Rights [David GAMKRELIDZE]; Our Georgia-Free Democrats (OGFD) [Irakli ALASANIA]; People's Party [Koba DAVITASHVILI; Republican Party [David USUPASHVILI]; Socialist Party or SPG [Irakli MINDELI]; Traditionalists [Akaki ASATIANI]; United National Movement or UNM [Mikheil SAAKASHVILI]

Political Pressure Groups and Leaders:

 Separatists in the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia

International Organization Participation:

 ADB, BSEC, CE, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, G-11, GCTU, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC, MIGA, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SECI (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO

Diplomatic Representation in the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador Temuri YAKOBASHVILI
Chancery: 2209 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20008
Telephone: [1] (202) 387-2390
FAX: [1] (202) 393-4537
Consulate(s) general: New York

Diplomatic Representation From the US:

 Chief of mission: Ambassador John BASS
Embassy: 11 George Balanchine Street, T'bilisi 0131
Mailing address: 7060 T'bilisi Place, Washington, DC 20521-7060
Telephone: [995] (32) 27-70-00
FAX: [995] (32) 53-23-10

Flag Description:

 White rectangle with a central red cross extending to all four sides of the flag; each of the four quadrants displays a small red bolnur-katskhuri cross; although adopted as the official Georgian flag in 2004, the five-cross flag design appears to date back to the 14th century

National Symbols:

 Saint George; lion

National Anthem:

 Name: "Tavisupleba" (Liberty)
Lyrics/music: Dawit MAGRADSE/Zakaria PALIASHVILI (adapted by Joseb KETSCHAKMADSE)

Note: adopted 2004; after the Rose Revolution, a new anthem with music based on the operas "Abesalom da Eteri" and "Daisi" was adopted

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ECONOMY


Economy - Overview:

 Georgia's economy sustained GDP growth of more than 10% in 2006-07, based on strong inflows of foreign investment and robust government spending. However, GDP growth slowed in 2008 following the August 2008 conflict with Russia, and turned negative in 2009 as foreign direct investment and workers' remittances declined in the wake of the global financial crisis, but rebounded in 2010. Georgia's main economic activities include the cultivation of agricultural products such as grapes, citrus fruits, and hazelnuts; mining of manganese and copper; and output of a small industrial sector producing alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, metals, machinery, aircraft and chemicals. Areas of recent improvement include growth in the construction, banking services, and mining sectors, but reduced availability of external investment and the slowing regional economy are emerging risks. The country imports nearly all its needed supplies of natural gas and oil products. It has sizeable hydropower capacity, a growing component of its energy supplies. Georgia has overcome the chronic energy shortages and gas supply interruptions of the past by renovating hydropower plants and by increasingly relying on natural gas imports from Azerbaijan instead of from Russia. The construction on the Baku-T'bilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the Baku-T'bilisi-Erzerum gas pipeline, and the Kars-Akhalkalaki Railroad are part of a strategy to capitalize on Georgia's strategic location between Europe and Asia and develop its role as a transit point for gas, oil and other goods. Georgia has historically suffered from a chronic failure to collect tax revenues; however, the government, since coming to power in 2004, has simplified the tax code, improved tax administration, increased tax enforcement, and cracked down on petty corruption. However, the economic downturn of 2008-09 eroded the tax base and led to a decline in the budget surplus and an increase in public borrowing needs. The country is pinning its hopes for renewed growth on a determined effort to continue to liberalize the economy by reducing regulation, taxes, and corruption in order to attract foreign investment, but the economy faces a more difficult investment climate both domestically and internationally.

GDP (Purchasing Power Parity):

 $22.44 billion (2010 est.)
$21.1 billion (2009 est.)
$21.93 billion (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP (Official Exchange Rate):

 $11.67 billion (2010 est.)

GDP - Real Growth Rate:

 6.4% (2010 est.)
-3.8% (2009 est.)
2.4% (2008 est.)

GDP - Per Capita (PPP):

 $4,900 (2010 est.)
$4,600 (2009 est.)
$4,700 (2008 est.)

Note: data are in 2010 US dollars

GDP - Composition By Sector:

 Agriculture: 10.4%
Industry: 28.7%
Services: 60.9% (2010 est.)

Labor Force:

 1.918 million (2007 est.)

Labor Force - By Occupation:

 Agriculture: 55.6%
Industry: 8.9%
Services: 35.5% (2006 est.)

Unemployment Rate:

 16.4% (2009 est.)
13.6% (2006 est.)

Population Below Poverty Line:

 31% (2006)

Household Income / Consumption By Share:

 Lowest 10%: 2%
Highest 10%: 31.3% (2008)

Distribution of Family Income - Gini Index:

 40.8 (2009)
37.1 (1996)

Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons:

 Refugees (country of origin): 1,100 (Russia)
IDPs: 220,000-240,000 (displaced from Abkhazia and South Ossetia) (2007)

Investment (Gross Fixed):

 15.4% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget:

 Revenues: $3.291 billion
Expenditures: $4.063 billion (2010 est.)

Taxes and Other Revenues:

 28.2% of GDP (2010 est.)

Budget Surplus / Deficit:

 -6.6% of GDP (2010 est.)

Inflation Rate (Consumer Prices):

 7.1% (2010 est.)
1.7% (2009 est.)

Central Bank Discount Rate:

 8% (25 December 2008)
NA% (31 December 2007)

Note: this is the Refinancing Rate, the key monetary policy rate of the Georgian National Bank

Commercial Bank Prime Lending Rate:

 24.213% (31 December 2010 est.)
25.521% (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Money:

 $1.077 billion (31 December 2009)
$972.4 million (31 December 2008)

Stock of Quasi Money:

 $1.606 billion (31 December 2008)
$1.379 billion (31 December 2007)

Stock of Narrow Money:

 $1.174 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$1.112 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Broad Money:

 $3.546 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$2.755 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Stock of Domestic Credit:

 $3.96 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$3.536 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Market Value of Publicly Traded Shares:

 $1.06 billion (31 December 2010)
$733.3 million (31 December 2009)
$327.3 million (31 December 2008)

Agriculture - Products:

 Citrus, grapes, tea, hazelnuts, vegetables; livestock

Industries:

 Steel, aircraft, machine tools, electrical appliances, mining (manganese and copper), chemicals, wood products, wine

Industrial Production Growth Rate:

 4% (2010 est.)

Electricity - Production:

 8.292 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Production By Source:

 Fossil fuel: 19.7%
Hydro: 80.3%
Nuclear: 0%
Other: 0% (2001)

Electricity - Consumption:

 7.08 billion kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Exports:

 675 million kWh (2008 est.)

Electricity - Imports:

 117 million kWh (2008 est.)

Oil - Production:

 984 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Consumption:

 13,000 bbl/day (2010 est.)

Oil - Exports:

 445 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Imports:

 17,840 bbl/day (2009 est.)

Oil - Proven Reserves:

 35 million bbl (1 January 2011 est.)

Natural Gas - Production:

 10 million cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Consumption:

 1.71 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Exports:

 0 cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Imports:

 1.7 billion cu m (2009 est.)

Natural Gas - Proven Reserves:

 8.495 billion cu m (1 January 2011 est.)

Current Account Balance:

 -$1.247 billion (2010 est.)
-$1.319 billion (2009 est.)

Exports:

 $2.46 billion (2010 est.)
$1.894 billion (2009 est.)

Exports - Commodities:

 Scrap metal, wine, mineral water, ores, vehicles, fruits and nuts

Exports - Partners:

 Turkey 14.1%, Azerbaijan 11.2%, Bulgaria 10%, US 9.8%, UK 9%, Canada 6.7%, Ukraine 6.1% (2010)

Imports:

 $5.027 billion (2010 est.)
$4.293 billion (2009 est.)

Imports - Commodities:

 Fuels, vehicles, machinery and parts, grain and other foods, pharmaceuticals

Imports - Partners:

 Turkey 15%, Ukraine 9.2%, Azerbaijan 8.5%, Russia 6.5%, Germany 6.1%, US 5.9%, China 5.4% (2010)

Reserves of Foreign Exchange and Gold:

 $2.264 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
$2.11 billion (31 December 2009 est.)

Debt - External:

 $10.5 billion (30 June 2011)
$3.381 billion (31 December 2009)

Exchange Rates:

 Convert to Any Currency

Laris (GEL) per US dollar -
1.8009 (2010)
1.6705 (2009)
1.47 (2008)
1.7 (2007)
1.78 (2006)

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COMMUNICATIONS


Telephones - Main Lines In Use:

 597,000 (2010)

Telephones - Cellular:

 3.193 million (2010)

Telephone System:

 General assessment: fixed-line telecommunications network has only limited coverage outside Tbilisi; long list of people waiting for fixed line connections; multiple mobile-cellular providers provide services to an increasing subscribership throughout the country

Domestic: cellular telephone networks cover the entire country; mobile-cellular teledensity roughly 60 per 100 people; urban fixed-line telephone density is about 20 per 100 people; rural telephone density is about 4 per 100 people; intercity facilities include a fiber-optic line between T'bilisi and K'ut'aisi; nationwide pager service is available

International: country code - 995; the Georgia-Russia fiber optic submarine cable provides connectivity to Russia; international service is available by microwave, landline, and satellite through the Moscow switch; international electronic mail and telex service are available

Broadcast Media:

 1 state-owned public television station in Tbilisi and 8 privately-owned TV stations; state-run public broadcaster operates 2 networks; dozens of cable TV operators and several major commercial TV stations are operating; state-owned public radio broadcaster operates 2 networks; several dozen private stations broadcast (2008)

Radio Broadcast Stations:

 AM 7, FM 12, shortwave 4 (1998)

Television Broadcast Stations:

 12 (plus repeaters) (1998)

Internet Country Code:

 .ge

Internet Hosts:

 110,680 (2010)

Internet Users:

 1.3 million (2009)

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TRANSPORTATION


Airports:

 22 (2010)

Airports - With Paved Runways:

 Total: 18
Over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 4
Under 914 m: 2 (2010)

Airports - With Unpaved Runways:

 Total: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 2
Under 914 m: 2 (2010)

Heliports:

 3 (2010)

Pipelines:

 Gas 1,596 km; oil 1,258 km (2010)

Railways:

 Total: 1,612 km
Broad gauge: 1,575 km 1.520-m gauge (1,575 electrified)
Narrow gauge: 37 km 0.912-m gauge (37 electrified) (2009)

Roadways:

 Total: 20,329 km
Paved: 19,123 km (includes 13 km of expressways)
Unpaved: 1,206 km (2007)

Merchant Marine:

 Total: 193
By type: bulk carrier 18, cargo 151, carrier 1, chemical tanker 3, container 2, liquefied gas 1, passenger/cargo 3, petroleum tanker 3, refrigerated cargo 2, roll on/roll off 7, vehicle carrier 2
Foreign-owned: 132 (China 11, Denmark 1, Egypt 11, Germany 4, Greece 3, Hong Kong 4, Israel 1, Italy 2, Latvia 1, Lebanon 1, Pakistan 1, Romania 7, Russia 7, Syria 35, Turkey 22, UAE 1, UK 4, Ukraine 15, US 1)
Registered in other countries: 1 (unknown 1) (2010)

Ports and Terminals:

 Bat'umi, P'ot'i

Transportation - Note:

 Large parts of transportation network are in poor condition because of lack of maintenance and repair

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MILITARY


Military Branches:

 Georgian Armed Forces: Land Forces (include Air and Air Defense Forces); separatist Abkhazia Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Air Forces; separatist South Ossetia Armed Forces (2011)

Military Service Age and Obligation:

 18 to 34 years of age for compulsory and voluntary active duty military service; conscript service obligation - 18 months (2005)

Manpower Available For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 1,080,840
Females age 16-49: 1,122,031 (2010 est.)

Manpower Fit For Military Service:

 Males age 16-49: 893,003
Females age 16-49: 931,683 (2010 est.)

Manpower Reaching Militarily Significant Age Annually:

 Male: 29,723
Female: 27,242 (2010 est.)

Military Expenditures:

 1.9% of GDP (2010 est.)

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TRANSNATIONAL ISSUES


Disputes - International:

 Russia's military support and subsequent recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia independence in 2008 continue to sour relations with Georgia; Georgia continues to restrain the return of Meshkhetian Turks dispersed by Stalin; ethnic Armenian groups in Javakheti region of Georgia seek greater autonomy from the Georgian government; local border forces struggle to control the illegal transit of goods and people across the porous, undemarcated Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian borders

Illicit Drugs:

 Limited cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for domestic consumption; used as transshipment point for opiates via Central Asia to Western Europe and Russia

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Last Updated: December 2011

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