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Asia, Georgia

Georgia, republic in western Asia. Georgia is the westernmost country of Transcaucasia (the southern portion of the region of Caucasia), which occupies the isthmus between the Black and Caspian seas; Azerbaijan and Armenia are also located in Transcaucasia. The name of the republic in Georgian, the official language, is Sakartvelo.

Georgia is a country of extremely diverse terrain, with high mountain ranges and fertile coastal lowlands. Ethnic Georgians constitute a majority of the population. Georgia was made a part of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) in 1922. After Georgia gained independence in 1991, the country was plagued by civil war and political upheaval. The economy suffered from these events and from severed trading ties with other former Soviet republics, but in the mid-1990s it stabilized when the political strife ebbed and free market reforms were instituted. Georgia's first post-Soviet constitution was adopted in August 1995.

Georgia includes two autonomous republics: Ajaria, located in Georgia's southwestern corner, and Abkhazia, in the northwestern arm of the republic. Both republics include stretches of the Black Sea coast. Georgia also contains the autonomous region of South Ossetia, which is located in the north central part of the country. Abkhazia and South Ossetia are bordered on the north by Russia, and Ajaria is bordered on the south by Turkey.

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