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YEREVAN, June 25 /TASS/. Police in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, are not taking any measures to disperse the peaceful demonstrators in the city center, Colonel Valery Osipyan, Yerevan’s police deputy chief, told TASS on Thursday.
About 5,000 protesters are rallying in Yerevan at the moment. This is the biggest number since the demonstrations started several days ago.
"The Armenian police are doing nothing because the protests in Yerevan are peaceful. The more so, it is absolutely impossible to use any means against the protesters," Osipyan said. At the same time, he admitted that the protests were illegal because they had not been authorized by the Yerevan mayor’s office.
Mass protest rallies have been underway in Yerevan for several days. The biggest crowds are gathering outside the House of Writers on the Marshal Bagramyan prospect. The protesters have barricaded the street with plastic garbage containers.
The riots erupted after the Commission for regulation of the country’s public services had agreed to increase public electricity tariffs by 16% to meet the request received from CJSC "Electric Networks of Armenia" distribution company, a subsidiary of RAO UES INTERNATIONAL. The measure which is to take effect on August 1 caused a wave of indignation among ordinary Armenians who assumed that the electricity price hike would automatically increase prices for essentials and many services. Armenia’s opposition forces used that public discontent to stage mass protests in central Yerevan.