In the mid-1980’s, the Environmentalist Party formed the Greens in Georgia, following the first opportunity to openly discuss the Republic’s environmental problems. Despite being a favorite holiday destination, bathing in the Black Sea was now prohibited due to the extensive chemical and bacteriological pollution. At the same time, the country is plagued by serious problems with erosion and deforestation. The new organization united its work for the environment with the defense of non-violence, democracy and human rights. The organization tried to coordinate its actions with similar organizations around the Black Sea. Georgia was the 2nd former Soviet Republic – after Estonia – to be admitted to the European Green Parliament.
- COUNTRYAAH: Find major trading partners of Georgia, including major exports and major imports with latest trade value and market share as well as growth rate.
On October 28, 1990, elections were held for Georgia’s Supreme Soviet (Parliament). It was won by the party coalition “The Round Table – Free Georgia”, led by Zviad Gamsakurdia – an opposition politician according to the Soviet regime. The Supreme Soviet decided to change the Republic’s name to the Republic of Georgia (Sakartvelo’s Respublika).
At the same time, the ethnic problems in the country increased. The autonomous regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia had demanded to maintain their status within the framework of the new republic. In Soviet times, they had the status of autonomous regions of the autonomous republic of Georgia. The continuation of their autonomy status was blankly rejected by Georgia’s new leaders. Both regions therefore declared themselves independent. Georgia’s Supreme Soviet annulled that decision, declared the area in an emergency and organized a blockade of it. Following clashes between South Ossetian partisans and troops from the Georgian Interior Ministry, in 1991 Georgia recognized independence.
On May 27, 1991, Zviad Gamsakurdia was elected President of Georgia, and in September fighting broke out between supporters of President Gamsakurdia and the opposition led by Dzhaba Ioseliani and Tenguiz Kitovani, National Guard commander. After numerous shootings and demonstrations that developed into shootings, on 6 January 1992, Kitovani’s troops attacked the government palace. Gamsakurdia fled to Armenia first and then sought asylum in the Chechen Autonomous Republic, whose president – General Dzhojar Dudayev – sought to disassociate his country from the Russian Federation.
A military council led by Kitovani took power in Tblisi and put the country’s constitution out of order. Some supporters of the crashed president continued to fight in West Georgia against the new regime. In late January 1992, an attempt to end the civil war failed.
In March 1992, former Soviet Foreign Minister Edvard Shevardnadze returned to Georgia to take up the post of President of the Council of State – the supreme body of the Georgian government – until new elections could be held. Shevardnadze declared that his country would normalize relations with the rest of the world and especially the former Soviet republics, although it would not be part of the Society of Independent States (CIS) – the successor to the Soviet Union.
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|Gross domestic product (GDP)||$ 39,850,000,000|
|GDP growth rate||5.00%|
|GDP per capita||$ 10,700|
|GDP by sector|
|Proportion of the population below the national poverty line||9.2%|
|Distribution of household income|
|Industrial production growth rate||1.40%|
|Investment volume||22.5% of GDP|
|National debt||44.90% of GDP|
|Foreign exchange reserves||$ 2,945,000,000|
Note: the capital city of Georgia, abbreviated as GEO by abbreviationfinder.org, is Tbilisi with a population of 1,161,000 (2011 estimate). Other major cities include Kutaisi (195,000), Batumi (124,000), Rustavi (121,000) (2011 estimate).
On June 28, a ceasefire was implemented in South Ossetia, monitored by Russian, Georgian and South Ossetian observers. At the same time, Abkhazia’s autonomous authorities decided to limit Georgia’s central government jurisdiction in the area. On August 14, therefore, government forces invaded Abkhazia and occupied its capital, Sujumi. The local authorities sought refuge in the city of Gudauta, which became a resistance pocket. In early October, they extended their control to a significant part of Abkhazia and approached Sujumi – supported by units of the Russian army.