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Georgia vs. Armenia

Introduction

GeorgiaArmenia
Background"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 in 1921 and regained its independence when the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991.
Mounting public discontent over rampant corruption and ineffective government services, followed by an attempt by the incumbent Georgian Government to manipulate parliamentary elections in November 2003, touched off widespread protests that led to the resignation of Eduard SHEVARDNADZE, president since 1995. In the aftermath of that popular movement, which became known as the ""Rose Revolution,"" new elections in early 2004 swept Mikheil SAAKASHVILI into power along with his United National Movement (UNM) party. Progress on market reforms and democratization has been made in the years since independence, but this progress has been complicated by Russian assistance and support to the separatist regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Periodic flare-ups in tension and violence culminated in a five-day conflict in August 2008 between Russia and Georgia, including the invasion of large portions of undisputed Georgian territory. Russian troops pledged to pull back from most occupied Georgian territory, but in late August 2008 Russia unilaterally recognized the independence of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and Russian military forces remain in those regions.
Billionaire philanthropist Bidzina IVANISHVILI's unexpected entry into politics in October 2011 brought the divided opposition together under his Georgian Dream coalition, which won a majority of seats in the October 2012 parliamentary elections and removed UNM from power. Conceding defeat, SAAKASHVILI named IVANISHVILI as prime minister and allowed Georgian Dream to create a new government. Georgian Dream's Giorgi MARGVELASHVILI was inaugurated as president on 17 November 2013, ending a tense year of power-sharing between SAAKASHVILI and IVANISHVILI. IVANISHVILI voluntarily resigned from office after the presidential succession, and Georgia's legislature on 20 November 2013 confirmed Irakli GARIBASHVILI as his replacement. GARIBASHVILI was replaced by Giorgi KVIRIKASHVILI in December 2015. KVIRIKASHVILI remained Prime Minister following Georgian Dream’s success in the October 2016 parliamentary elections, where the party won a constitutional majority. These changes in leadership represent unique examples of a former Soviet state that emerged to conduct democratic and peaceful government transitions of power. Popular and government support for integration with the West is high in Georgia. Joining the EU and NATO are among the country's top foreign policy goals.
"
Armenia prides itself on being the first nation to formally adopt Christianity (early 4th century). Despite periods of autonomy, over the centuries Armenia came under the sway of various empires including the Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Persian, and Ottoman. During World War I in the western portion of Armenia, the Ottoman Empire instituted a policy of forced resettlement coupled with other harsh practices that resulted in at least 1 million Armenian deaths. The eastern area of Armenia was ceded by the Ottomans to Russia in 1828; this portion declared its independence in 1918, but was conquered by the Soviet Red Army in 1920.
Armenian leaders remain preoccupied by the long conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, a primarily Armenian-populated region, assigned to Soviet Azerbaijan in the 1920s by Moscow. Armenia and Azerbaijan began fighting over the area in 1988; the struggle escalated after both countries attained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. By May 1994, when a trilateral cease-fire between Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Nagorno-Karabakh took hold, ethnic Armenian forces held not only Nagorno-Karabakh but also seven surrounding regions - approximately 14 percent of Azerbaijan’s territory. The economies of both sides have been hurt by their inability to make substantial progress toward a peaceful resolution.
Turkey closed the common border with Armenia in 1993 in support of Azerbaijan in its conflict with Armenia over control of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding areas, further hampering Armenian economic growth. In 2009, senior Armenian leaders began pursuing rapprochement with Turkey, aiming to secure an opening of the border, but Turkey has not yet ratified the Protocols normalizing relations between the two countries. In January 2015, Armenia joined Russia, Belarus, and Kazakhstan as a member of the Eurasian Economic Union.

Geography

GeorgiaArmenia
LocationSouthwestern Asia, bordering the Black Sea, between Turkey and Russia, with a sliver of land north of the Caucasus extending into Europe; note - Georgia views itself as part of Europe; geopolitically, it can be classified as falling within Europe, the Middle East, or both
Southwestern Asia, between Turkey (to the west) and Azerbaijan; note - Armenia views itself as part of Europe; geopolitically, it can be classified as falling within Europe, the Middle East, or both
Geographic coordinates42 00 N, 43 30 E
40 00 N, 45 00 E
Map referencesAsia
Asia
Areatotal: 69,700 sq km
land: 69,700 sq km
water: 0 sq km
note: approximately 12,560 sq km, or about 18% of Georgia's area, is Russian occupied
total: 29,743 sq km
land: 28,203 sq km
water: 1,540 sq km
Area - comparativeslightly smaller than South Carolina; slightly larger than West Virginia
slightly smaller than Maryland
Land boundariestotal: 1,814 km
border countries (4): Armenia 219 km, Azerbaijan 428 km, Russia 894 km, Turkey 273 km
total: 1,570 km
border countries (4): Azerbaijan 996 km, Georgia 219 km, Iran 44 km, Turkey 311 km
Coastline310 km
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claimsterritorial sea: 12 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
none (landlocked)
Climatewarm and pleasant; Mediterranean-like on Black Sea coast
highland continental, hot summers, cold winters
Terrainlargely 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; fertile soils in river valley flood plains and foothills of Kolkhida Lowland
Armenian Highland with mountains; little forest land; fast flowing rivers; good soil in Aras River valley
Elevation extremesmean elevation: 1,432 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Black Sea 0 m
highest point: Mt'a Shkhara 5,201 m
mean elevation: 1,792 m
elevation extremes: lowest point: Debed River 400 m
highest point: Aragats Lerrnagagat' 4,090 m
Natural resourcestimber, hydropower, manganese deposits, iron ore, copper, minor coal and oil deposits; coastal climate and soils allow for important tea and citrus growth
small deposits of gold, copper, molybdenum, zinc, bauxite
Land useagricultural land: 35.5%
arable land 5.8%; permanent crops 1.8%; permanent pasture 27.9%
forest: 39.4%
other: 25.1% (2011 est.)
agricultural land: 59.7%
arable land 15.8%; permanent crops 1.9%; permanent pasture 42%
forest: 9.1%
other: 31.2% (2011 est.)
Irrigated land4,330 sq km (2012)
2,740 sq km (2012)
Natural hazardsearthquakes
occasionally severe earthquakes; droughts
Environment - current issuesair pollution, particularly in Rust'avi; heavy pollution of Mtkvari River and the Black Sea; inadequate supplies of potable water; soil pollution from toxic chemicals
soil pollution from toxic chemicals such as DDT; the energy crisis of the 1990s led to deforestation when citizens scavenged for firewood; pollution of Hrazdan (Razdan) and Aras Rivers; the draining of Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan), a result of its use as a source for hydropower, threatens drinking water supplies; restart of Metsamor nuclear power plant in spite of its location in a seismically active zone
Environment - international agreementsparty 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
party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants
Geography - notestrategically located east of the Black Sea; Georgia controls much of the Caucasus Mountains and the routes through them
landlocked in the Lesser Caucasus Mountains; Sevana Lich (Lake Sevan) is the largest lake in this mountain range
Population distributionsettlement coincides closely to the central valley, with emphasis on the capital city of Tbilisi in the east; smaller urban agglomerations dot the Black Sea coast, with Bat'umi being the largest
most of the population is located in the northern half of the country; the capital of Yerevan is home to more than five times as many people as Gyumri, the second largest city in the country

Demographics

GeorgiaArmenia
Population4,928,052 (July 2016 est.)
3,051,250 (July 2016 est.)
Age structure0-14 years: 17.91% (male 463,526/female 419,334)
15-24 years: 12.61% (male 326,675/female 294,912)
25-54 years: 40.93% (male 980,024/female 1,037,044)
55-64 years: 12.77% (male 282,067/female 347,287)
65 years and over: 15.77% (male 304,668/female 472,515) (2016 est.)
0-14 years: 19% (male 308,701/female 271,028)
15-24 years: 13.58% (male 213,203/female 201,291)
25-54 years: 43.46% (male 640,070/female 685,958)
55-64 years: 12.96% (male 180,700/female 214,834)
65 years and over: 10.99% (male 134,330/female 201,135) (2016 est.)
Median agetotal: 38 years
male: 35.1 years
female: 40.7 years (2016 est.)
total: 34.6 years
male: 32.8 years
female: 36.5 years (2016 est.)
Population growth rate-0.05% (2016 est.)
-0.18% (2016 est.)
Birth rate12.5 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
13.3 births/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Death rate10.9 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
9.4 deaths/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Net migration rate-2.2 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
-5.7 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2016 est.)
Sex ratioat birth: 1.08 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.11 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.11 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.81 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.64 male(s)/female
total population: 0.92 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
at birth: 1.13 male(s)/female
0-14 years: 1.14 male(s)/female
15-24 years: 1.06 male(s)/female
25-54 years: 0.93 male(s)/female
55-64 years: 0.84 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.67 male(s)/female
total population: 0.94 male(s)/female (2016 est.)
Infant mortality ratetotal: 15.6 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 17.8 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 13.4 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
total: 13.1 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 14.5 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 11.5 deaths/1,000 live births (2016 est.)
Life expectancy at birthtotal population: 76.2 years
male: 72.1 years
female: 80.6 years (2016 est.)
total population: 74.6 years
male: 71.4 years
female: 78.3 years (2016 est.)
Total fertility rate1.76 children born/woman (2016 est.)
1.64 children born/woman (2016 est.)
HIV/AIDS - adult prevalence rate0.39% (2015 est.)
0.2% (2015 est.)
Nationalitynoun: Georgian(s)
adjective: Georgian
noun: Armenian(s)
adjective: Armenian
Ethnic groupsGeorgian 86.8%, Azeri 6.3%, Armenian 4.5%, other 2.3% (includes Russian, Ossetian, Yazidi, Ukrainian, Kist, Greek) (2014 est.)
Armenian 98.1%, Yezidi (Kurd) 1.1%, other 0.7% (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS - people living with HIV/AIDS9,600 (2015 est.)
3,600 (2015 est.)
ReligionsOrthodox (official) 83.4%, Muslim 10.7%, Armenian Apostolic 2.9%, other 1.2% (includes Catholic, Jehovah's Witness, Yazidi, Protestant, Jewish), none 0.5%, unspecified/no answer 1.2% (2014 est.)
Armenian Apostolic 92.6%, Evangelical 1%, other 2.4%, none 1.1%, unspecified 2.9% (2011 est.)
HIV/AIDS - deaths200 (2015 est.)
100 (2015 est.)
LanguagesGeorgian (official) 87.6%, Azeri 6.2%, Armenian 3.9%, Russian 1.2%, other 1%
note: Abkhaz is the official language in Abkhazia (2014 est.)
Armenian (official) 97.9%, Kurdish (spoken by Yezidi minority) 1%, other 1% (2011 est.)
Literacydefinition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.8%
male: 99.8%
female: 99.7% (2015 est.)
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 99.7%
male: 99.7%
female: 99.6% (2015 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)total: 15 years
male: 15 years
female: 16 years (2015)
total: 13 years
male: 13 years
female: 13 years (2015)
Education expenditures2% of GDP (2012)
2.8% of GDP (2015)
Urbanizationurban population: 53.6% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: -0.1% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
urban population: 62.7% of total population (2015)
rate of urbanization: -0.11% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Drinking water sourceimproved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 100% of population
rural: 100% of population
total: 100% of population
unimproved:
urban: 0% of population
rural: 0% of population
total: 0% of population (2015 est.)
Sanitation facility accessimproved:
urban: 95.2% of population
rural: 75.9% of population
total: 86.3% of population
unimproved:
urban: 4.8% of population
rural: 24.1% of population
total: 13.7% of population (2015 est.)
improved:
urban: 96.2% of population
rural: 78.2% of population
total: 89.5% of population
unimproved:
urban: 3.8% of population
rural: 21.8% of population
total: 10.5% of population (2015 est.)
Major cities - populationTBILISI (capital) 1.147 million (2015)
YEREVAN (capital) 1,044 (2015)
Maternal mortality rate36 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
25 deaths/100,000 live births (2015 est.)
Children under the age of 5 years underweight1.1% (2009)
5.3% (2010)
Health expenditures7.4% of GDP (2014)
4.5% of GDP (2014)
Physicians density4.78 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
2.8 physicians/1,000 population (2014)
Hospital bed density2.6 beds/1,000 population (2012)
3.9 beds/1,000 population (2012)
Obesity - adult prevalence rate22.1% (2014)
19.9% (2014)
Child labor - children ages 5-14total number: 121,659
percentage: 18% (2005 est.)
total number: 19,596
percentage: 4%
note: data represent children ages 7-17 (2007 est.)
Mother's mean age at first birth24.4 years
note: data do not cover Abkhazia and South Ossetia (2013 est.)
24.1 years (2013 est.)
Contraceptive prevalence rate53.4%
note: percent of women aged 15-44 (2010)
54.9% (2010)
Dependency ratiostotal dependency ratio: 45.7
youth dependency ratio: 25.2
elderly dependency ratio: 20.4
potential support ratio: 4.9 (2015 est.)
total dependency ratio: 41.3
youth dependency ratio: 26
elderly dependency ratio: 15.3
potential support ratio: 6.5 (2015 est.)

Government

GeorgiaArmenia
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
etymology: the Western name may derive from the Persian designation ""gurgan"" meaning ""Land of the Wolves""; the native name ""Sak'art'velo"" means ""Land of the Kartvelians"" and refers to the core central Georgian region of Kartli
"
conventional long form: Republic of Armenia
conventional short form: Armenia
local long form: Hayastani Hanrapetut'yun
local short form: Hayastan
former: Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, Armenian Republic
etymology: the etymology of the country's name remains obscure; according to tradition, the country is named after Hayk, the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and the great-great-grandson of Noah; Hayk's descendant, Aram, purportedly is the source of the name Armenia
Government typesemi-presidential republic
parliamentary democracy
Capitalname: Tbilisi
geographic coordinates: 41 41 N, 44 50 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
name: Yerevan
geographic coordinates: 40 10 N, 44 30 E
time difference: UTC+4 (9 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Administrative divisions9 regions (mkharebi, singular - mkhare), 1 city (kalaki), 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; note - the breakaway region of South Ossetia consists of the northern part of Shida Kartli, eastern slivers of the Imereti region and Racha-Lechkhumi and Kvemo Svaneti, and part of western Mtskheta-Mtianeti
city: Tbilisi
autonomous republics: Abkhazia or Ap'khazet'is Avtonomiuri Respublika (Sokhumi), Ajaria or Acharis Avtonomiuri Respublika (Bat'umi)
note 1: the administrative centers of the two autonomous republics are shown in parentheses
note 2: the United States recognizes the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia to be part of Georgia
11 provinces (marzer, singular - marz); Aragatsotn, Ararat, Armavir, Geghark'unik', Kotayk', Lorri, Shirak, Syunik', Tavush, Vayots' Dzor, Yerevan
Independence9 April 1991 (from the Soviet Union); notable earlier date: A.D. 1008 (Georgia unified under King BAGRAT III)
21 September 1991 (from the Soviet Union)
National holidayIndependence 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
Independence Day, 21 September (1991)
Constitutionhistory: previous 1921, 1978 (based on 1977 Soviet Union constitution); latest approved 24 August 1995, effective 17 October 1995
amendments: proposed as a draft law supported by more than one-half of the Parliament membership or by petition of at least 200,000 voters; passage requires support by at least three-fourths of the Parliament membership in two successive sessions three months apart and the signature and promulgation by the president of Georgia; amended several times, last in 2013 (2017)
history: previous 1915, 1978; latest adopted 5 July 1995
amendments: proposed by the president of the republic or by the National Assembly; passage requires approval by the president, by the National Assembly, and by a referendum with at least 25% registered voter participation and more than 50% of votes; constitutional articles on the form of government and democratic procedures are not amendable; amended 2005, 2007, 2008, last in 2015
note: a 2015 amendment, approved in December 2015 by a public referendum and effective for the 2017-18 electoral cycle, changes the government type from the current semi-presidential system to a parliamentary system (2017)
Legal systemcivil law system
civil law system
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
18 years of age; universal
Executive branchchief of state: President Giorgi MARGVELASHVILI (since 17 November 2013)
head of government: Prime Minister Giorgi KVIRIKASHVILI (since 30 December 2015); First Deputy Prime Minister Dimitry KUMSISHVILI
cabinet: Cabinet of Ministers
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in 2 rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 27 October 2013 (next to be held in October 2018); prime minister nominated by Parliament, appointed by the president
election results: Giorgi MARGVELASHVILI elected president; percent of vote - Giorgi MARGVELASHVILI (Georgian Dream) 62.1%, Davit BAKRADZE (UNM) 21.7%, Nino BURJANADZE 10.2%, other 6%
chief of state: President Serzh SARGSIAN (since 9 April 2008)
head of government: Prime Minister Karen KARAPETYAN (since 13 September 2016)
cabinet: Council of Ministers appointed by the prime minister
elections/appointments: president directly elected by absolute majority popular vote in two rounds if needed for a 5-year term (eligible for a second term); election last held on 18 February 2013 (next to be held in February 2018); prime minister appointed by the president based on majority support in the National Congress; the prime minister and Council of Ministers must resign if the National Congress refuses to accept their program
election results: Serzh SARGSIAN reelected president in one round; percent of vote - Serzh SARGSIAN (RPA) 58.6%, Raffi HOVHANNISIAN (Heritage Party) 36.7%, Hrant BAGRATIAN (ANM) 2.2%, other 2.5%
note: constitutional changes adopted in December 2015 will transform the government to a parliamentary system by 2018; for the scheduled February 2018 election, the president will be indirectly elected by parliament and will serve a single 7-year term; following the 2018 election, the prime minister will be elected based on majority support of the National Assembly
Legislative branchdescription: unicameral Parliament or Sakartvelos Parlamenti (150 seats; 77 members directly elected in a single nationwide constituency by proportional representation vote and 73 directly elected in single-seat constituencies by simple majority vote; members serve 4-year terms)
elections: last held on 8 October and 30 October 2016 (next to be held in 2020)
election results: percent of vote by party - Georgian Dream 48.7%, UNM 27.1%, Alliance of Patriots 5%, other 19.2%; seats by party - Georgian Dream 115, UNM 27, Alliance of Patriots 6, IWSG 1, independent 1
description: unicameral National Assembly (Parliament) or Azgayin Zhoghov (minimum 101 seats, currently 105; members directly elected in single-seat constituencies by proportional representation vote; members serve 5-year terms)
elections: last held on 2 April 2017 (next to be held in spring of 2022)
election results: percent of vote by party - RPA 49.2%, Tsarukyan Alliance 27.4%, Yelk (Way Out) 7.8%, ARF (Dashnak) 6.6%, other 9%; seats by party - RPA 58, Tsarukyan Alliance 31, Yelk (Way Out) 9, ARF (Dashnak) 7
Judicial branchhighest court(s): Supreme Court (organized into several specialized judicial chambers; number of judges determined by the president of Georgia); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges); note - the Abkhazian and Ajarian Autonomous republics each have a supreme court and a hierarchy of lower courts
judge selection and term of office: Supreme Court judges nominated by the president and appointed by the Parliament; judges serve not less than 10-year terms; Constitutional Court judges appointed by the president following candidate selection by the Justice Council of Georgia, a 12-member consultative body of high-level judges, and presidential and parliamentary appointees; judges appointed for 10-year terms
subordinate courts: Courts of Appeal; regional (town) and district courts
highest court(s): Court of Cassation (consists of the court chairman and organized into the criminal chamber and a civil and administrative chamber, each with a chamber chairman and 2 judges); Constitutional Court (consists of 9 judges)
judge selection and term of office: Court of Cassation judges nominated by the Judicial Council, a 9-member body of selected judges and legal scholars; judges appointed by the president; Constitutional Court judges - 4 appointed by the president, and 5 elected by National Assembly; judges of both courts can serve until retirement at age 65
subordinate courts: 2 Courts of Appeal (for civil cases and for criminal and military cases); district courts; Administrative Court
Political parties and leadersAlliance of Patriots [Irma INASHVILI]
European Georgia [Davit BAKRADZE]
Georgian Dream-Democratic Georgia [Giorgi KVIRIKASHVILI]
Industry Will Save Georgia (Industrialists) or IWSG [Giorgi TOPADZE]
National Forum [Kakhaber SHARTAVA]
Free Democrats (FD) [Tamar KEKENADZE]
Republican Party [Khatuna SAMNIDZE]
State for the People Party [formerly Paata BURCHULADZE ]
United Democratic Movement [Nino BURJANADZE]
United National Movement or UNM [Nika MELIA]
"Armenian National Congress or ANC (bloc of independent and opposition parties) [Levon TER-PETROSSIAN]
Armenian National Movement or ANM [Ararat ZURABIAN]
Armenian Revolutionary Federation or ARF (""Dashnak"" Party) [Hrant MARKARIAN]
Heritage Party [Raffi HOVHANNISIAN]
People's Party of Armenia [Stepan DEMIRCHIAN]
Prosperous Armenia [Gagik TSARUKYAN]
Republican Party of Armenia or RPA [Serzh SARGSIAN]
Rule of Law Party (Orinats Yerkir) [Artur BAGHDASARIAN]
Tsarukyan Alliance [Gagik TSARUKYAN]
Yelk (Way Out) Alliance [Edmon Marukyan]
"
Political pressure groups and leadersother: separatists in the Russian-occupied regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia
Aylentrank (Impeachment Alliance) [Nikol PASHINIAN]
Yerkrapah Union [Manvel GRIGORIAN]
International organization participationADB, BSEC, CD, CE, CPLP (associate), EAPC, EBRD, FAO, G-11, GCTU, GUAM, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (national committees), ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, IMO, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO (correspondent), ITSO, ITU, ITUC (NGOs), MIGA, OAS (observer), OIF (observer), OPCW, OSCE, PFP, SELEC (observer), UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
ADB, BSEC, CD, CE, CIS, CSTO, EAEC (observer), EAEU, EAPC, EBRD, FAO, GCTU, IAEA, IBRD, ICAO, ICC (NGOs), ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, IFRCS, ILO, IMF, Interpol, IOC, IOM, IPU, ISO, ITSO, ITU, MIGA, NAM (observer), OAS (observer), OIF, OPCW, OSCE, PFP, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNIFIL, UNWTO, UPU, WCO, WFTU (NGOs), WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTO
Diplomatic representation in the USchief of mission: Ambassador Davit BAKRADZE (since November 2016)
chancery: 1824 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20009
telephone: [1] (202) 387-2390
FAX: [1] (202) 387-0864
consulate(s) general: New York
chief of mission: Ambassador Grigor HOVHANNISSIAN (since 28 January 2016)
chancery: 2225 R Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
telephone: [1] (202) 319-1976
FAX: [1] (202) 319-2982
consulate(s) general: Glendale (CA)
Diplomatic representation from the USchief of mission: Ambassador Ian C. KELLY (since 17 September 2015)
embassy: 11 George Balanchine Street, T'bilisi 0131
mailing address: 7060 T'bilisi Place, Washington, DC 20521-7060
telephone: [995] (32) 227-70-00
FAX: [995] (32) 253-23-10
chief of mission: Ambassador Richard MILLS (since 13 February 2015)
embassy: 1 American Ave., Yerevan 0082
mailing address: American Embassy Yerevan, US Department of State, 7020 Yerevan Place, Washington, DC 20521-7020
telephone: [374](10) 464-700
FAX: [374](10) 464-742
Flag descriptionwhite 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; sometimes referred to as the Five-Cross Flag; although adopted as the official Georgian flag in 2004, the five-cross design appears to date back to the 14th century
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), blue, and orange; the color red recalls the blood shed for liberty, blue the Armenian skies as well as hope, and orange the land and the courage of the workers who farm it
National anthem"name: ""Tavisupleba"" (Liberty)
lyrics/music: Davit 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
"
"name: ""Mer Hayrenik"" (Our Fatherland)
lyrics/music: Mikael NALBANDIAN/Barsegh KANACHYAN
note: adopted 1991; based on the anthem of the Democratic Republic of Armenia (1918-1922) but with different lyrics
"
International law organization participationaccepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction; accepts ICCt jurisdiction
has not submitted an ICJ jurisdiction declaration; non-party state to the ICCt
National symbol(s)Saint George, lion; national colors: red, white
Mount Ararat, eagle, lion; national colors: red, blue, orange
Citizenshipcitizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Georgia
dual citizenship recognized: no
residency requirement for naturalization: 10 years
citizenship by birth: no
citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Armenia
dual citizenship recognized: yes
residency requirement for naturalization: 3 years

Economy

GeorgiaArmenia
Economy - overviewGeorgia's main economic activities include cultivation of agricultural products such as grapes, citrus fruits, and hazelnuts; mining of manganese, copper, and gold; and producing alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, metals, machinery, and chemicals in small-scale industries. The country imports nearly all of its needed supplies of natural gas and oil products. It has sizeable hydropower capacity that now provides most of its energy needs.

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. Construction of the Baku-T'bilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline, the South Caucasus 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 hub for gas, oil, and other goods.

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 following the August 2008 conflict with Russia, and sunk to negative 4% in 2009 as foreign direct investment and workers' remittances declined in the wake of the global financial crisis. The economy rebounded in 2010-16, but FDI inflows, the engine of Georgian economic growth prior to the 2008 conflict, have not recovered fully. Unemployment has also remained high.

The country is pinning its hopes for renewed growth on a continued effort to liberalize the economy by reducing regulation, taxes, and corruption in order to attract foreign investment, with a focus on hydropower, agriculture, tourism, and textiles production. Georgia has historically suffered from a chronic failure to collect tax revenues; however, since 2004 the government has simplified the tax code, increased tax enforcement, and cracked down on petty corruption, leading to higher revenues. Georgia plans to improve the domestic investment environment through a four-year economic plan targeting the tax system, educational standards, infrastructure, and governance. The government has received high marks from the World Bank for improvements in business transparency. Since 2012, the Georgian Dream-led government has continued the previous administration's low-regulation, low-tax, free market policies, while modestly increasing social spending, strengthening anti-trust policy, and amending the labor code to comply with International Labor Standards. In mid-2014, Georgia signed an association agreement with the EU, paving the way to free trade and visa-free travel. Georgia is also seeking to expand trade with China, concluding substantive negotiations on a trade agreement in October 2016.
Under the old Soviet central planning system, Armenia developed a modern industrial sector, supplying machine tools, textiles, and other manufactured goods to sister republics, in exchange for raw materials and energy. Armenia has since switched to small-scale agriculture and away from the large agro industrial complexes of the Soviet era. Armenia has only two open trade borders - Iran and Georgia - because its borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey have been closed since 1991 and 1993, respectively, as a result of Armenia's ongoing conflict with Azerbaijan over the separatist Nagorno-Karabakh region.

Armenia joined the WTO in January 2003. The government has made some improvements in tax and customs administration in recent years, but anti-corruption measures have been largely ineffective. Armenia will need to pursue additional economic reforms and strengthen the rule of law in order to raise its economic growth and improve economic competitiveness and employment opportunities, especially given its economic isolation from two of its neighbors, Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Armenia's geographic isolation, a narrow export base, and pervasive monopolies in important business sectors have made it particularly vulnerable to deteriorations in the global commodity markets and the economic challenges in Russia. Armenia is particularly dependent on Russian commercial and governmental support, as most key Armenian infrastructure is Russian-owned and/or managed, especially in the energy sector. Remittances from expatriates working in Russia are equivalent to about 7-8% of GDP. Armenia joined the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union in January 2015, but has expressed interest in expanding its economic ties with the European Union as well, and in March 2017 an EU-Armenia Comprehensive and Enhanced Partnership Agreement was initiated. Armenia’s rising government debt is leading Yerevan to tighten its fiscal policies – the debt almost reached the debt to GDP threshold set by national legislation as of March 2017.
GDP (purchasing power parity)$37.27 billion (2016 est.)
$36.15 billion (2015 est.)
$35.17 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$26.3 billion (2016 est.)
$25.73 billion (2015 est.)
$24.97 billion (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - real growth rate3.1% (2016 est.)
2.8% (2015 est.)
4.6% (2014 est.)
2.2% (2016 est.)
3% (2015 est.)
3.6% (2014 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$10,100 (2016 est.)
$9,700 (2015 est.)
$9,400 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
$8,900 (2016 est.)
$8,500 (2015 est.)
$8,200 (2014 est.)
note: data are in 2016 dollars
GDP - composition by sectoragriculture: 9.2%
industry: 21.6%
services: 68.3% (2016 est.)
agriculture: 19.6%
industry: 29.1%
services: 51.3% (2016 est.)
Population below poverty line9.2% (2010 est.)
32% (2013 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage sharelowest 10%: 2%
highest 10%: 31.3% (2008)
lowest 10%: 3.5%
highest 10%: 25.7% (2014)
Inflation rate (consumer prices)2% (2016 est.)
4% (2015 est.)
-0.5% (2016 est.)
3.7% (2015 est.)
Labor force2.022 million (2015 est.)
1.559 million (2016 est.)
Labor force - by occupationagriculture: 55.6%
industry: 8.9%
services: 35.5% (2006 est.)
agriculture: 36.3%
industry: 17%
services: 46.7% (2013 est.)
Unemployment rate12.1% (2016 est.)
12% (2015 est.)
17.9% (2016 est.)
17.7% (2015 est.)
Distribution of family income - Gini index40.1 (2014)
46 (2011)
31.5 (2014)
31.5 (2013 est.)
Budgetrevenues: $4.266 billion
expenditures: $4.541 billion (2016 est.)
revenues: $2.445 billion
expenditures: $2.969 billion (2016 est.)
Industriessteel, machine tools, electrical appliances, mining (manganese, copper, gold), chemicals, wood products, wine
brandy, mining, diamond processing, metal-cutting machine tools, forging and pressing machines, electric motors, knitted wear, hosiery, shoes, silk fabric, chemicals, trucks, instruments, microelectronics, jewelry, software, food processing
Industrial production growth rate1.4% (2016 est.)
4.2% (2016 est.)
Agriculture - productscitrus, grapes, tea, hazelnuts, vegetables; livestock
fruit (especially grapes and apricots), vegetables; livestock
Exports$2.926 billion (2016 est.)
$3.043 billion (2015 est.)
$1.678 billion (2016 est.)
$1.626 billion (2015 est.)
Exports - commoditiesvehicles, ferro-alloys, fertilizers, nuts, scrap metal, gold, copper ores
unwrought copper, pig iron, nonferrous metals, gold, diamonds, mineral products, foodstuffs, brandy, cigarettes, energy
Exports - partnersAzerbaijan 10.9%, Bulgaria 9.7%, Turkey 8.4%, Armenia 8.2%, Russia 7.4%, China 5.7%, US 4.7%, Uzbekistan 4.4% (2015)
Russia 15.2%, China 11.1%, Germany 9.8%, Iraq 8.8%, Georgia 7.8%, Canada 7.6%, Bulgaria 5.3%, Iran 5.3% (2015)
Imports$6.803 billion (2016 est.)
$7.73 billion (2015 est.)
$2.638 billion (2016 est.)
$2.78 billion (2015 est.)
Imports - commoditiesfuels, vehicles, machinery and parts, grain and other foods, pharmaceuticals
natural gas, petroleum, tobacco products, foodstuffs, diamonds, pharmaceuticals, cars
Imports - partnersTurkey 17.2%, Russia 8.1%, China 7.6%, Azerbaijan 7%, Ireland 5.9%, Ukraine 5.9%, Germany 5.6% (2015)
Russia 29.1%, China 9.7%, Germany 6.2%, Iran 6.1%, Italy 4.6%, Turkey 4.2% (2015)
Debt - external$13.65 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$13.31 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$8.365 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$8.554 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Exchange rateslaris (GEL) per US dollar -
2.18 (2016 est.)
2.2694 (2015 est.)
2.2694 (2014 est.)
1.7657 (2013 est.)
1.65 (2012 est.)
drams (AMD) per US dollar -
492.7 (2016 est.)
477.92 (2015 est.)
477.92 (2014 est.)
415.92 (2013 est.)
401.76 (2012 est.)
Fiscal yearcalendar year
calendar year
Public debt42.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
41.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
note: data cover general government debt, and includes debt instruments issued (or owned) by government entities other than the treasury; the data include treasury debt held by foreign entities; the data include debt issued by subnational entities; Georgia does not maintain intra-governmental debt or social funds
53.4% of GDP (2016 est.)
48.8% of GDP (2015 est.)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold$2.855 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.521 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.512 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.775 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Current Account Balance-$1.764 billion (2016 est.)
-$1.68 billion (2015 est.)
-$302 million (2016 est.)
-$279 million (2015 est.)
GDP (official exchange rate)$14.46 billion (2016 est.)
$10.75 billion (2016 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - at home$13.68 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$12.64 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$4.169 billion (2015 est.)
$4.087 billion (2014 est.)
Stock of direct foreign investment - abroad$1.933 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.773 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$228 million (2015 est.)
$215 million (2014 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares$1.155 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$943.4 million (31 December 2012 est.)
$795.7 million (31 December 2011 est.)
$132.1 million (31 December 2012 est.)
$139.6 million (31 December 2011 est.)
$144.8 million (31 December 2010 est.)
Central bank discount rate6.5% (7 Setpember 2016)
7% (23 September 2015)
note: this is the Refinancing Rate, the key monetary policy rate of the National Bank of Georgia
6.5% (14 December 2016)
10.5% (10 February 2015)
note: this is the Refinancing Rate, the key monetary policy instrument of the Armenian National Bank
Commercial bank prime lending rate12.9% (31 December 2016 est.)
12.49% (31 December 2015 est.)
17.5% (31 December 2016 est.)
17.59% (31 December 2015 est.)
note: average lending rate on loans up to one year
Stock of domestic credit$7.186 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$6.946 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$5.307 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$5.022 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of narrow money$2.165 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.063 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.178 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.149 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Stock of broad money$2.67 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$2.402 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
$1.949 billion (31 December 2016 est.)
$1.779 billion (31 December 2015 est.)
Taxes and other revenues29.5% of GDP (2016 est.)
22.7% of GDP (2016 est.)
Budget surplus (+) or deficit (-)-1.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
-4.9% of GDP (2016 est.)
Unemployment, youth ages 15-24total: 35.6%
male: 35.3%
female: 36.4% (2013 est.)
total: 36.1%
male: 31.8%
female: 41.5% (2013 est.)
GDP - composition, by end usehousehold consumption: 66.9%
government consumption: 16%
investment in fixed capital: 26.8%
investment in inventories: 3.8%
exports of goods and services: 38.1%
imports of goods and services: -51.6% (2016 est.)
household consumption: 72.5%
government consumption: 13.9%
investment in fixed capital: 20%
investment in inventories: 2.5%
exports of goods and services: 31.6%
imports of goods and services: -40.5% (2016 est.)
Gross national saving21.3% of GDP (2016 est.)
20.4% of GDP (2015 est.)
19.2% of GDP (2014 est.)
18.1% of GDP (2016 est.)
18.3% of GDP (2015 est.)
13.2% of GDP (2014 est.)

Energy

GeorgiaArmenia
Electricity - production11.57 billion kWh (2016 est.)
7.3 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - consumption12.44 billion kWh (2016 est.)
5.1 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - exports560 million kWh (2016 est.)
1.3 billion kWh (2014 est.)
Electricity - imports478.9 million kWh (2016 est.)
26 million kWh (2014 est.)
Oil - production930.7 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2015 est.)
Oil - imports3,086 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - exports3,535 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Oil - proved reserves35 million bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
0 bbl (1 January 2016 est.)
Natural gas - proved reserves8.495 billion cu m (1 January 2016 es)
0 cu m (1 January 2014 es)
Natural gas - production5.663 million cu m (2011 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - consumption2.297 billion cu m (2015 est.)
2.5 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Natural gas - exports0 cu m (2013 est.)
0 cu m (2013 est.)
Natural gas - imports2.18 billion cu m (2014 est.)
2.061 billion cu m (2014 est.)
Electricity - installed generating capacity3.718 million kW (2015 est.)
4.1 million kW (2014 est.)
Electricity - from fossil fuels39.2% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
32.2% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
Electricity - from hydroelectric plants60.8% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
33.5% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
Electricity - from nuclear fuels0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
34.3% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
Electricity - from other renewable sources0% of total installed capacity (2012 est.)
0% of total installed capacity (2011 est.)
Refined petroleum products - production269 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - consumption20,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
8,000 bbl/day (2014 est.)
Refined petroleum products - exports2,574 bbl/day (2015 est.)
0 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Refined petroleum products - imports31,190 bbl/day (2015 est.)
7,809 bbl/day (2013 est.)
Carbon dioxide emissions from consumption of energy7 million Mt (2013 est.)
12 million Mt (2013 est.)
Electricity accesselectrification - total population: 100% (2016)
electrification - total population: 100% (2016)

Telecommunications

GeorgiaArmenia
Telephones - main lines in usetotal subscriptions: 950,167
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 19 (July 2015 est.)
total subscriptions: 551,366
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 18 (July 2015 est.)
Telephones - mobile cellulartotal: 5.551 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 113 (July 2015 est.)
total: 3.442 million
subscriptions per 100 inhabitants: 113 (July 2015 est.)
Telephone systemgeneral assessment: fixed-line telecommunications network has limited coverage outside Tbilisi; 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 110 per 100 persons; intercity facilities include a fiber-optic line between T'bilisi and K'ut'aisi
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 (2015)
general assessment: telecommunications investments have made major inroads in modernizing and upgrading the outdated telecommunications network inherited from the Soviet era; now 100% privately owned and undergoing modernization and expansion; mobile-cellular services monopoly terminated in late 2004, and a second and third provider began operations in 2005 and 2009 respectively
domestic: reliable modern fixed-line and mobile-cellular services are available across Yerevan and in major cities and towns; mobile-cellular coverage available in most rural areas
international: country code - 374; Yerevan is connected to the Trans-Asia-Europe fiber-optic cable through Iran; additional international service is available by microwave radio relay and landline connections to the other countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States, through the Moscow international switch, and by satellite to the rest of the world; satellite earth stations - 3 (2015)
Internet country code.ge
.am
Internet userstotal: 2.227 million
percent of population: 45.2% (July 2015 est.)
total: 1.78 million
percent of population: 58.2% (July 2015 est.)
Broadcast mediaTbilisi-based Georgian Public Broadcaster (GPB) includes Channel 1, Channel 2, as well as the Batumi-based Adjara TV (also a part of GPB); all three are funded from the state budget; there are a number of independent commercial TV stations, including but not limited to Rustavi 2, Imedi, Maestro, Kavkasia, GDS, and TV1; the Georgian Orthodox Church also operates a satellite-based TV station called Unanimity; 26 regional TV broadcasters across Georgia are members of the Georgian Association of Regional Broadcasters (GARB) that seeks to strengthen the regional media's capacities and to distribute regional products; a nationwide digital switchover occurred in 2015; there are several dozen private radio stations; GPB operates 2 radio stations (2016)
2 public TV networks operating alongside about 40 privately owned TV stations that provide local to near nationwide coverage; major Russian broadcast stations are widely available; subscription cable TV services are available in most regions; Armenian TV completed conversion from analog to digital broadcasting in late 2016; Public Radio of Armenia is a national, state-run broadcast network that operates alongside 21 privately owned radio stations; several major international broadcasters are available (2017)

Transportation

GeorgiaArmenia
Railwaystotal: 1,363 km
broad gauge: 1,326 km 1.520-m gauge (1,251 km electrified)
narrow gauge: 37 km 0.912-m gauge (37 km electrified) (2014)
total: 780 km
broad gauge: 780 km 1.520-m gauge (780 km electrified)
note: 726 km operational (2014)
Roadwaystotal: 19,109 km
paved: 19,109 km (includes 69 km of expressways) (2010)
total: 7,792 km (2013)
Pipelinesgas 1,596 km; oil 1,175 km (2013)
gas (high and medium pressure) 3,838 km (2017)
Airports22 (2013)
11 (2013)
Airports - with paved runwaystotal: 18
over 3,047 m: 1
2,438 to 3,047 m: 7
1,524 to 2,437 m: 3
914 to 1,523 m: 5
under 914 m: 2 (2013)
total: 10
over 3,047 m: 2
2,438 to 3,047 m: 2
1,524 to 2,437 m: 4
914 to 1,523 m: 2 (2013)
Airports - with unpaved runwaystotal: 4
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 2
under 914 m: 1 (2013)
total: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2013)

Military

GeorgiaArmenia
Military branchesGeorgian Armed Forces: Land Forces (include Air and Air Defense Forces); separatist Abkhazia Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Air Forces; separatist South Ossetia Armed Forces
note: Georgian naval forces have been incorporated into the Coast Guard, which is part of the Ministry of Internal Affairs rather than the Ministry of Defense (2015)
"Armenian Armed Forces: Ground Forces, Air Force and Air Defense; ""Nagorno-Karabakh Republic"": Nagorno-Karabakh Self-Defense Force (NKSDF) (2011)
"
Military service age and obligation18 to 27 years of age for compulsory and voluntary active duty military service; conscript service obligation is 12 months (2014)
18-27 years of age for voluntary or compulsory military service; 2-year conscript service obligation; 17 year olds are eligible to become cadets at military higher education institutes, where they are classified as military personnel (2012)
Military expenditures - percent of GDP2.23% of GDP (2016)
2.34% of GDP (2015)
2.26% of GDP (2014)
2.53% of GDP (2013)
3.1% of GDP (2012)
4% of GDP (2016)
4.25% of GDP (2015)
3.94% of GDP (2014)
4% of GDP (2013)
3.58% of GDP (2012)

Transnational Issues

GeorgiaArmenia
Disputes - internationalRussia's military support and subsequent recognition of Abkhazia and South Ossetia independence in 2008 continue to sour relations with Georgia
the dispute over the break-away Nagorno-Karabakh region and the Armenian military occupation of surrounding lands in Azerbaijan remains the primary focus of regional instability; residents have evacuated the former Soviet-era small ethnic enclaves in Armenia and Azerbaijan; Turkish authorities have complained that blasting from quarries in Armenia might be damaging the medieval ruins of Ani, on the other side of the Arpacay valley; in 2009, Swiss mediators facilitated an accord reestablishing diplomatic ties between Armenia and Turkey, but neither side has ratified the agreement and the rapprochement effort has faltered; local border forces struggle to control the illegal transit of goods and people across the porous, undemarcated Armenian, Azerbaijani, and Georgian borders; ethnic Armenian groups in the Javakheti region of Georgia seek greater autonomy from the Georgian Government
Illicit drugslimited cultivation of cannabis and opium poppy, mostly for domestic consumption; used as transshipment point for opiates via Central Asia to Western Europe and Russia
illicit cultivation of small amount of cannabis for domestic consumption; minor transit point for illicit drugs - mostly opium and hashish - moving from Southwest Asia to Russia and to a lesser extent the rest of Europe
Refugees and internally displaced personsIDPs: 208,000 (displaced in the 1990s as a result of armed conflict in the breakaway republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia; displaced in 2008 by fighting between Georgia and Russia over South Ossetia) (2016)
stateless persons: 250 (2016)
refugees (country of origin): 14,626 (Syria - ethnic Armenians) (2016)
IDPs: 8,400 (conflict with Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh) (2016)
stateless persons: 512 (2016)

Source: CIA Factbook