Georgia remains a developing country even three decades after its independence from the Soviet Union and despite its strategic location and abundant natural resources. It has benefited to a limited extent from foreign investment and relatively recent free-trade agreements with the EU and China. But its full emergence as an economically and politically resilient State has been hampered by modernization driven development agenda and neoliberal policies with too little regard for their social and environmental impacts in Georgia, as well as highpressure, counter-productive trade- and lending policies imposed by global powers such as the IMF, the EU, the United States, and China.
After the first cases of COVID-19 were detected in Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia last spring, the three countries embarked on very different courses of action to tackle the virus. While Georgia moved to quickly close its borders and initiated a strict lockdown, Armenia and Azerbaijan were slower to respond, though both eventually instituted lockdowns of their own. Over the last year, other events in the region have overshadowed the pandemic to some extent.