Natural resources, energy and environment
Georgia has large assets of manganese and copper, as well as smaller deposits of gold, silver, iron and coal. Some oil and gas extraction exists, but most of the country’s energy needs are covered by imports.
After the 2008 war, the government has worked purposefully to reduce dependence on Russia for oil and gas supplies. Since 2009, all natural gas is imported from Azerbaijan and a large part of the oil imports come from Kazakhstan.
- COUNTRYAAH: Major exports by Georgia with a full list of the top products exported by the country. Includes trade value in U.S. dollars and the percentage for each product category.
In the mountainous regions there are good conditions for extracting hydroelectric power, but the existing power plants are poorly maintained. However, electricity supply has improved markedly since 2004, partly because producers have been given better opportunity to pay and overcome corruption in the sector. The problems with electricity interruptions seem to belong to the past. About a third of electricity generation comes from privately owned power plants and the remaining state power plants are also being sold.
At the International Energy Council (IEA), which is affiliated with the OECD, statistics for Georgia on energy production, consumption, imports and emissions of greenhouse gases in 1990–2016 show very similar curves: steep falls in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union, then a slow but steady increase.
Georgia has plenty of mineral water sources. The Georgian mineral water of Bordjomi is appreciated in large parts of the former Soviet Union.
- Abbreviationfinder: A popular acronym site in the world covering abbreviation for each country. For example, GA stands for Georgia. Visit itypeusa for more information about Georgia.
Georgia’s environmental problems are a legacy from the Soviet era when no attempts were made to clean industry emissions. Even today, air pollution is a problem in industrial dense areas. Many rivers are also polluted, especially the Mtkvari River and the Black Sea. Agriculture has pulled its straw to the stack through uncontrolled use of fertilizers and pesticides that destroy soil and groundwater.
FACTS – ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT
Energy use per person
1,178 kilos of oil equivalent (2014)
Electricity consumption per person
2688 kilowatt hours, kWh (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions in total
8 988 thousand tonnes (2014)
Carbon dioxide emissions per inhabitant
2.4 tons (2014)
The share of energy from renewable sources
28.7 percent (2015)
Abkhazia concludes agreement with Russia
Abkhazi leader Raul Chadzhimba and Russian President Vladimir Putin sign a “strategic partnership” agreement, which includes, among other things, the Abkhaz defense forces being included in the Russian army, Russia pledging to modernize Abkhaz forces and Russia doubling its Georgian financial support the breakaway. Russia should also work internationally to get more countries to recognize Abkhazia’s independence, but within the outbreak state, the opposition expresses concern that closer cooperation with Russia, on the contrary, erodes the measure of independence the country has tried to live up to. The Georgia government condemns the agreement as a step towards a Russian annexation of Abkhazia and calls for the UN Security Council to discuss the legality of the agreement. The agreement is also pronounced by the US, EU and NATO.
South Ossetia is linked to Russia
The outbreak state of South Ossetia also claims to negotiate an “integration agreement” with Russia, which will primarily lead to close military cooperation. Previously, Abkhazia has entered into a preliminary agreement with Russia, which according to the Georgian government almost means a Russian annexation of the area.
The opposition demonstrates against “concessions” for Russia
At least 30,000 supporters of the former ruling party The national movement demonstrates in Tbilisi against what they regard as the government’s concession policy against Russia and a “sneaky” Russian annexation of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The latter refers, among other things, to the planned military alliance between Russia and Abkhazia (see October 2014). Former President Saakashvili appears via a video link from Kiev.
Career diplomat becomes Foreign Minister
The new diplomat Tamar Beruchjvili is appointed as new Foreign Minister. She has been Deputy Foreign Minister since April 2013.
Crisis for the government
The government has been rocking since Prime Minister Garibashvili dismissed Defense Minister Irakli Alasania, after which his party mates Foreign Minister Maia Panjikidze and EU Minister Alexi Petriashvili resign in protest. They then announce that their Free Democrats party is suspending government cooperation. This means that the government has only 73 of Parliament’s 150 seats and becomes dependent on the support of independent members to survive. The crisis erupts after a period of wear and tear within the government. The triggering reason is that Alasania said that the arrests of five high-ranking militants for suspected corruption were politically founded and a threat to Georgia’s proximity to NATO.
The former Minister of Defense is imprisoned
Former Defense Minister Batjo Achalaia is sentenced to seven and a half years in prison for torturing prisoners. He has already been imprisoned since October 2013 for abuse of power.
The former prime minister is sentenced again to prison
Former Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili is sentenced to three years in prison for involvement in the murder of a banker in 2006. He is already in jail after being sentenced twice in February.
The appeal to Russia not to conclude an agreement with Abkhazia
The government appeals to Russia not to fulfill its plans to enter into an “alliance and integration” agreement with the Georgian breakaway republic of Abkhazia. According to Georgia, the planned agreement, which includes joint defense and police forces as well as customs, would be tantamount to annexing the area. There are reports of opposition to Russian plans even within the Abkhazian parliament, where many members want to guard the area’s “independence”. The Russian government responds that closer cooperation between Russia and Abkhazia is an expression of “a modern global trend” and that no one has the right to interfere. Georgia intends to seek international support for its protests.
Saakashvili’s possessions are seized
A court orders that properties and apartments of former President Saakashvili, his wife, mother and grandmother be confiscated.
Presidential elections in Abkhazia are condemned
The government and the EU condemn the presidential elections held in the Aboriginal Republic of Abkhazia (see also Abkhazia: Politics).
Saakashvili is prosecuted and prosecuted
Former President Saakashvili and several of his closest associates are being charged with abuse of power. The charges relate to police intervention with violence against protesters who tried to disrupt a military parade and the takeover of the TV station Imedi 2009. The co-accused are the former Home Affairs, Justice and Defense Ministers and Tbilisi’s former mayor. Saakashvili is currently living in the United States. A few days later, the ex-president is also indicted for ordering a brutal 2005 assault on an opposition politician. The prosecutor puts Saakashvili on the list of wanted persons and says he will be arrested as soon as he returns to his home country.
Grand slam in local elections for the government party
In local elections, which are held in two rounds and end in July, the Georgian Dream Government Party takes power in all the municipalities of the country.
Former President Shevardnadze dies
Former President Eduard Shevardnadze dies at the age of 86. He was Georgia’s President from 1992 until the “Revolution of the Roses” in 1993. Prior to that, he was the Soviet Union’s Foreign Minister from 1985 to 1990 and again for a short time in late autumn 1991, until the Soviet Union’s dissolution. He is associated with Michail Gorbachev with many of the reforms that transformed the Soviet Union during the second half of the 1980s and which led to the independence of the various Soviet republics.
Agreements with the EU are signed
Together with the other two former Soviet Republics of Ukraine and Moldova, Georgia signs the June 27 Association Agreement. The agreement gradually gives Georgian export companies free access to the EU market and also means that the country receives technical and economic development support. In return, Georgia pledges to live up to the EU’s demands for respect for democracy and human rights, the fight against corruption, a strengthened legal society and a reformed economic system.
Laws against discrimination can give visa freedom to the EU
Parliament adopts a law on discrimination which comes into force a few days later after being signed by President Margvelashvili. The adoption of the law has been one of the conditions for Georgians to be able to travel to EU countries without a visa. Georgian Orthodox Church Patriarch Ilia II says the law will be rejected by believers, as it prohibits discrimination on the grounds of “sins” such as sexual orientation and gender identity.
Saakashvili refuses to be heard
Prosecutors call former President Saakashvili for interrogation in a number of court cases, including the death of the then prime minister in 2005. Saakashvili, who now lives abroad, says he does not intend to stand. According to the government, he will then be sought internationally. The US State Department says the new government’s actions suggest attempts at political reprisals.
The former prime minister is jailed for corruption
Former Prime Minister Vano Merabishvili is sentenced to five years in prison for corruption. He is said to have distributed thousands of fictitious jobs to party officials during the 2012 election campaign. Merabishvili, who led the government for a few months in 2012, has been in custody since May 2013. He is the highest-ranking former prisoner in the case of former President Saakashvili. He himself claims to be the victim of a political witch hunt, and even in the EU and the US there have been concerns that the new government is engaging in legal persecution of its political opponents. The co-accused former Minister of Health Zurab Tjiaberisjvili was sentenced to a fine of approximately SEK 170,000. A week later, Merabishvili is sentenced to another four and a half years in prison for abuse of power. The indictment refers to the riot police’s strike against hostile protesters in May 2009.
Billionaire Ivanizhvili forms a national movement
Former Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanichvili is forming an organization called Citizen and whose purpose is to teach the population to keep an eye on the governing. The multi-billionaire Ivanizhvili promises to invest the equivalent of about SEK 10 million a year in the Citizen. The money will be used, among other things, to train journalists and political analysts.