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Georgia Country Report

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Risk Level

Low
Moderate
Elevated
High
Very High
Severe
Extreme

Overview

Executive Summary

Successive Georgian governments have pursued greater integration with both the EU and NATO. Development of EU links has accelerated after the entry into force of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement with the EU in 2016, which was followed by the introduction of a visa-free regime with the Schengen Zone in 2017. The incumbent Georgian government is pursuing a comprehensive policy of approximation towards the EU, aiming to facilitate Georgia’s eventual EU accession. Georgia’s pro-Western stance over the last decade has provoked violent adverse reaction from Russia, resulting in the loss of one-quarter of its territory, including the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. The five-day Russian-Georgian war in August 2008 increased Russian control over these areas and led to a breakdown in diplomatic relations. The current Georgian government has normalised trade relations with Russia, but Russian military and political support for the separatist territories prevents a resumption of diplomatic ties.The fallout from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus is bound to have a significant dampening impact on exports, including on important tourism service inflows, and we expect economic expansion to sharply decelerate. However, Georgia has negotiated additional access to precautionary funding from the IMF, and we do not expect Georgia to run into any external financing problems. The COVID-19 virus crisis and oil price fall have increased exchange rate instability in regional currency markets, pushing the lari to a new record low in March, and we expect inflation to remain far above the target of 3% in 2020. Confidence in the lari may also be damaged by social unrest and persistent political risks in the run-up to the October 2020 election, and depreciation typically directly feeds into imported inflation. However, the NBG is running its flexible exchange rate policy regime skilfully, assisting the maintenance of Georgia’s external balances.
Last update: September 2, 2020

Operational Outlook

The COVID-19 pandemic will have a negative impact on the Georgian economy, which is increasingly dependent on the growing tourism sector. The government’s USD1.2-billion anti-crisis programme unveiled in April 2020 is unlikely to mitigate the risk of anti-government protests. The run-up to the general election in October is very likely to be marked by heightened civil unrest in central Tbilisi with opposition demonstrations causing business disruption. The breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which are not under central government’s control, present persistent security concerns, but the resumption of war with either is unlikely at present.

Last update: June 17, 2020

Terrorism

Elevated

Terrorism risks stem from breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. There is increased risk of kidnapping, shootouts and low-level IED attacks near de-facto borders separating these regions from Georgia proper. As the anti-terrorism operation in Tbilisi in November 2017 demonstrated, terrorism risk in Georgia stemming from likely transit of North Caucasian militants fleeing the Islamic State's collapse in Iraq and Syria is slightly increasing. The limited outflow of radicalised youth from Georgia's Muslim minorities has largely stopped and those, who returned, have posed no security threats. Greater socio-economic integration of Muslim minorities, including Chechen communities in Pankisi Gorge, is likely to mitigate terrorism risk.

Last update: June 17, 2020

Crime

Opportunistic petty crime, including property theft, is likely to increase as unemployment soars due to the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the Georgian economy in 2020. Law enforcement reforms reduced but did not completely eliminate the corruption in police. Foreigners are typically targeted by pickpockets and other low-level criminals in tourist areas, especially in Tbilisi and Batumi, but grave crimes targeting them are very rare. Overall crime level is also high in the areas adjacent to the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, but here too criminals tend to target local population more than visiting foreigners.

Last update: June 17, 2020

War Risks

The likelihood of interstate war with Russia over the breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia is currently low. The Georgian government has unilaterally renounced the use of force to return these territories. The presence of the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) on the Georgian side of the de-facto border with both secessionist territories contributes to the stabilisation of the situation. Georgia has been trying to normalise relations with Russia while pursuing closer relations with both EU and NATO. Relations with other neighbouring states – Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey – provide no cause for military confrontation.

Last update: June 17, 2020

Social Stability

High

The likelihood of anti-government protests is increasing in the one-year outlook and especially in the run-up to the general election in October 2020. The adverse impact of the COVID-19 virus pandemic on the Georgian economy further increases likelihood of economically motivated anti-government protests, as was demonstrated by the anti-quarantine rally organised by farmers in the Azeri-populated Marneuli municipality in April 2020. Large-scale infrastructure projects also occasionally elicit violent opposition from local population, as was the case when locals clashed with riot police in the Pankisi Gorge in April 2019 over construction of the Khadori-3 hydropower plant.

Last update: June 17, 2020

Health Risk

Very high

Vaccinations required to enter the country

No vaccinations are required to enter the country.

Routine Vaccinations

Hepatitis A: A vaccine is available for anyone over one year of age. The vaccine may not be effective for certain people, e.g. those born before 1945 and who lived as a child in a developing country and/or have a past history of jaundice (icterus). These people can instead get a shot of immune globulin (IG) to boost their immunity against the disease.

Hepatitis B: A vaccine is available for children at least two months old.

Diphtheria-Tetanus-Polio: A booster shot should be administered if necessary (once every ten years).

Other Vaccinations

Typhoid Fever: If your travels take you to regions with poor sanitary conditions (for children two years old and up).

Rabies: For prolonged stays in an isolated region (for children from when they can walk).

Tick-Borne Encephalitis: For stays in rural zones and for hiking enthusiasts (for children over the age of one).

For Children: All standard childhood immunizations should be up-to-date. In the case of a long stay, the BCG vaccine is recommended for children over one month and the MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) vaccine for children over nine months.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Natural Risks

Very high

The country is also periodically struck by floods. In June 2015, a flood killed more than a dozen people around Tbilisi.

Landslides can also occur following heavy rain, especially in the more mountainous regions of the country.

Last update: April 5, 2019

Practical Information

Climate

The climate, along the coast of the Black Sea is subtropical with hot and humid summers and mild winters. Inland, temperatures are cooler and winters are cold and snowy. The west of the country receives more precipitation that the east.

Useful Numbers

Country Code: 995
Police: 022
Ambulance: 01 or 03

Electricity

Voltage: 220 V ~ 50 Hz

Outlets:

Last update: April 5, 2019