Politics 16:28 24/06/2015

Areshev: Protests against electricity tariff rise in Armenia have no signs of a coup d’etat

The protests against the electricity tariff rise in Armenia have no signs of a coup d’etat, but they will continue until the local authorities try to reach a compromise with citizens, Andrey Areshev, an expert at the Center for Central Asian and Caucasus Studies of the Institute for Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told RIA Novosti.

“I think the situation should be resolved peacefully – given its complexity – which was also said in yesterday’s statement of Dmitry Peskov (editor: Russian President’s spokesman). It is important for Armenia, an EEU member and a country close to us (editor: Russia), to maintain socioeconomic and internal political stability. I believe that the Armenian authorities need to take steps in that direction,” the expert stressed.

He said that in order to settle the current conflict, it is first of all necessary to eliminate the prime cause that triggered discontent, namely, to deal with the issue of power price increase.

In his words, some solutions can be found, including at the level of parliament – the confrontation should be moved from Yerevan streets into a more constructive course, in particular, the parliament where such issues are to be solved.

Areshev said on the whole, the Armenian authorities are in control of the situation, and although various people joined the ranks of protesters, “there has always been an understanding in the country that the conflict’s development according to ‘Ukrainian’ scenario will result in very negative consequences.

“Armenia have always managed to find some compromise. I think it will do it this time as well,” the expert noted.

As was reported, Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA) Company earlier submitted a bid to the Public Services Regulatory Commission about a rise in electricity tariffs. The parliamentary opposition considers it unfounded and serving the interests of that company. The current night-time tariff for the population is 31.85 drams per one KWh, the daytime tariff is 41.85 drams. The bid of ENA proposed raising the tariffs to 48 and 58 drams respectively. Yet the Commission satisfied the bid of ENA only partially on June 17. The tariffs in Armenia will increase by 6.93 drams, and not by 17 drams. The Commission’s decision will take force on August 1, 2015. Protests against the power tariff raise have been staged in Yerevan since June 19.



Source Panorama.am
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