Armenian Deputy: Yerevan protests not 'Maidan'

A protest against hikes in electricity prices currently under way in the Armenian capital Yerevan has no political dimension and does not carry any risks of a 'color revolution', Armenian Deputy Tevan Pogosian told Interfax.

"I do not know where this information has come from, why this frenzy [about the events in Yerevan] and why they have been described as 'Maidan' or a 'color revolution'. It is a social action with a single demand - not to increase electricity prices," Pogosian said.

The parliamentarian blamed the current situation on the Electric Networks of Armenia company, which is wholly owned by Russia's OJSC Inter RAO (MOEX: IRAO).

"Such a situation has been caused by poor management in the Electric Networks of Armenia company, which has accumulated $250 million worth of debts as a result. But instead of improving management, some people are looking for some 'Maidans'. It is necessary to work to improve the situation. Change your opinion and let's try to sort out the existing situation," he said.

For his part, a protest activist, Alen Simonian, told Interfax that the ongoing demonstration has nothing to do with politics.

"A very bad tendency is being observed. Some media outlets, political and public figures are trying to associate the social protest in Yerevan with some political and even geopolitical processes. They are trying to impose some cliches and names. All this is dangerous, unacceptable and fraught with bad consequences. It is a social protest," Simonian said.

Armenia's police, however, claim that they have tracked down provocateurs among demonstrators protesting against electricity price increases in the center of Yerevan.

"I repeat once again that there are provocateurs. We have not taken them to police stations as of yet because this may spark new provocations," Armenian deputy police chief Lt. Gen. Unan Pogosian told reporters.

He also noted that police can use force at any moment, but they have not done it because the protest is so far peaceful.

As many as 6,000 people have joined a protest in central Yerevan against a decision to raise electricity prices starting from August 1, 2015.

Read more: Press Digest: Protests over rising cost of electricity resume in Armenia

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