Georgia. According to
COUNTRYAAH, the country was marked by the war between the
neighbors of the Russian Federation and Chechnya. At the
beginning of the year, several thousand Chechen refugees
crossed the border into Georgia. They were housed in private
homes and provided by international aid agencies. The
presence of the refugees led the Russian Federation to
repeatedly accuse Georgia of hosting Chechen guerrilla
bases. This was denied by Georgia, but the nation lived
under constant fear of Russian military attacks.
Officially, Georgia supports the Russian war effort in
Chechnya, but both parties know that is what the small
country must do to not provoke its powerful neighbor.
Georgia turns otherwise politically and economically to the
west. President Edvard Shevardnadze has succeeded in this
difficult balance art, and at the presidential election in
April he was re-elected for a new five-year term.
Shevardnadze got about 80% of the votes against about 17%
for challenger Jumber Patiasjvili. The European Security and
Cooperation Organization OSCE election observers reported
irregularities, but had no evidence of election fraud.
After the election, Shevardnadze reformed his government.
He had promised in the election campaign to tackle the
severe corruption, which made a small group of stormy but
slowed economic reforms and foreign investment.
The World Bank estimates that about a fifth of Georgians
live on less than the equivalent of SEK 20 a day.
Malnutrition among children has been reported.
The high energy prices have forced people into predatory
operations in Georgia's forests, which has led to
increasingly difficult floods and caused environmental
refugees. President Shevardnadze has stated that 20% of
Georgia's area should be protected as a national park, but
only a small proportion had received such protection.
Five UN employees, including two Danes, were arrested in
June by unknown men in western Georgia against the border
with the Abkhazia outbreak region. They were released
undamaged after a few days. Some clearing in the conflict
between Georgia and Abkhazia was noted in July when the
respective governments signed an agreement on certain
stabilizing measures in the conflict area.
In October, a Russian military aircraft crashed near one
of the Russian military bases located on Georgian territory.
All 82 people aboard the plane were killed.
Closer ties to Russia
The tension between Abkhazia and Georgia increased in
August 2009, when Georgia stopped a Turkish ship
transporting fuel to Abkhazia. In response, Abkhazian
leaders later threatened to destroy Georgian vessels if they
entered Abkhazian waters. However, he stressed that no
Russian naval forces would be deployed.
In September 2009, Venezuela recognized Abkhazia and
South Ossetia as independent. It happened when President
Hugo Chávez visited Moscow and was promised to buy weapons
from Russia. Previously, only Nicaragua had followed in
Russia's footsteps and recognized the outbreak states.
Following a visit by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in
August 2010, it was announced that Russian air defense
robots had been installed in Abkhazia.
In May 2011, Sergei Bagapsh, who has been President since
2005 and Vice President Aleksandr Ankvab took over. In the
new election held at the end of August, Ankvab won by close
to 55 percent of the votes.
The three candidates who ran for election were all
strongly Moscow-friendly and opposed a reunion with Georgia.
The election was condemned by both the Government of Georgia
and the Western Alliance NATO.
In March 2012, elections were held for the 35 seats in
Parliament. Most of the 150 people who had been nominated
had been nominated by some interest group and of the 35
elected members, only 7 belonged to one party.
In June 2014, Ankvab resigned after the opposition
organized a series of protest meetings and stormed the
presidential palace. Ankvab was blamed for the country's
In August, a new election won by Raul Chadzhimba was held
which, like the other four candidates, advocated close ties