The South Caucasus country of Georgia is a source of much sought-after Christmas tree seeds. But its own forests are now under threat, as firewood is in increasing demand as a cheap source of heat for homes, schools and hospitals.
Georgian Prime Minister Bidzina Ivanishvili rose to power in 2012 on a pledge to depoliticise the powerful police force created by President Mikheil Saakashvili following the 2003 Rose Revolution.
In the two-plus decades since the Soviet collapse, the Georgian Orthodox Church has emerged as one of the South Caucasus country’s most respected and influential institutions. But some observers and theologians now worry that ultra-conservative clerics within the Church are gaining too much power.
Georgia may be touted as the most pro-Western country in the South Caucasus, but the recent backlash against LGBT activists in Tbilisi underscores how wide the cultural divide is when it comes to defining democratic values.
A 150-million-dollar-plus Chinese real estate and tourism deal that is slated for a suburb of Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi, is creating a quandary for many Georgians.
Rooted in longstanding historical, religious and economic differences, Georgian animosity toward neighbouring Turkey, Georgia’s fifth-largest investor, appears to be growing in the Black Sea region of Achara.