New Armenia Power Price Demo Marked by No ViolenceWorld | June 24, 2015, Wednesday // 09:45| views
Armenian protesters shout anti-government slogans as they stand on top of barricades during a protest rally in the Armenian capital of Yerevan against a hike in electricity prices in the Armenian capital of Yerevan, Tuesday, June 23, 2015. Photo BTA
A more peaceful protest took place in downtown Yerevan, Armenia on Tuesday night as thousands gathered to renew their demonstration against a 17-22% rise in electricity bills.
Different estimates suggest between 5000 and 7000 people attended.
No force or water cannons were used Tuesday night, though protesters made yet another attempt to reach the presidential building.
As many as 237 people were detained at the previous rally. Early on in the morning, water cannons had been used to prevent protesters from reaching the presidential palace. There had been clashes that ended with 11 police being injured.
Equipped with batons and shields, police surrounded the venue of protests where city authorities had already moved to put out street lights.
Some opposition MPs also joined the protests, and the news website Lenta.ru reports that Education and Science Minister Armen Ashotyan also attended.
President Sargsyan was ready to receive protesters, who nevertheless declined the invitation, local news websites report.
Instead activists, who have been the driving force of rallies in the past few days, called on the head of state to revoke the price hike adopted by the regulator earlier in June.
Moscow believes there might be a Washington footprint in the developments, though activists from the No to Plunder civic group, the driving force behind the protests, deny this.
A Russian company where state-owned entities are major shareholders incorporates the Armenian Electricity Network, the country's power grid operator.
Both Russia and the US have already said they are closely following the situation.