Georgia – Country Profile
Situated at the juncture of Eastern Europe and Western Asia, Georgia is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia and to the east by Azerbaijan. The country covers a territory of 69,700 km² and has a population of 4.6 million. Georgia’s constitution is a representative democracy, organized as a unitary, semi-presidential republic. It is currently a member of the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization, the Organization of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation, the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the Community of Democratic Choice, the GUAM Organization for Democracy and Economy Development and the Asian Development Bank. The country aspires to join NATO and the European Union.
The history of Georgia can be traced back to the ancient kingdoms of Colchis and Iberia and it was one of the first countries to adopt Christianity. Georgia reached the peak of its political and economic strength during the reign of King David and Queen Tamar in the 11th and 12th centuries. At the beginning of the 19th century, Georgia was annexed by the Russian Empire. After a brief period of independence (1918-1921), Georgia was annexed by the Russian Red Army and then incorporated into the Soviet Union, which lasted until the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991. Like many post-communist countries, Georgia suffered from the economic crisis and civil unrest during the 1990s. After the Rose Revolution, the new political leadership introduced democratic reforms but foreign investment and economic growth which initially followed have slackened substantially since.
Georgia contains two de facto independent regions, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, who after Georgia lost a war with Russia in 2008, gained partial international recognition. Georgia considers the regions to be occupied by Russia.