Georgia Country Report
Georgia has been pursuing integration into the Euro-Atlantic structures and normalising relations with Russia. The programme unveiled by Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze in July 2018 aims to reduce government, foster entrepreneurship and innovation and remain socially oriented. Georgia enjoys the unique trading position of having both an Association Agreement with the EU and a free-trade agreement with China. Trade ties with Russia have improved, but resumption of diplomatic relations remains unlikely due to Russia's recognition of the independence of Georgia's breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia following the five-day Russian-Georgian war in August 2008. Since 28 March 2017, Georgia has had a visa-free regime with the EU, which is likely to increase pro-Western sentiments inpublic against the backdrop of Russia's attempts to influence public opinion.
The Georgian government is keen to attract foreign investments into economy with particular emphasis on developing country's hydropower resources, agriculture, transport and tourism. Georgia's commitment to the Association Agreement with the EU is gradually bringing its regulatory and institutional framework into compliance with European standards. The breakaway regions Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which are not under the control of the central government, present persistent security concerns, but the resumption of war with either is unlikely at present. The government is focused on infrastructure improvements and normalisation of trade relations with Russia.
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.
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.
Heightened risk of economically motivated social unrest in the one-year outlook stems from the steady deterioration in economic conditions due to the negative influence of external factors, including the economic slowdown in Russia, which drastically reduced the remittances that sustain many households. Large-scale infrastructure projects occasionally elicit opposition on the local level, but such protests are typically short-lived and do not disrupt project timelines significantly. The government has been pursuing socially oriented policies but with mixed success due to insufficient funding. The new Labour Code empowers unions, raising the likelihood of strikes.
Vaccinations required to enter the country
No vaccinations are required to enter the country.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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