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Armenia Fines Russian-Owned Electricity Firm

Plans to raise electricity rates by the Russian-owned electricity company sparked protests in Yerevan and elsewhere in Armenia.

The Russian owned firm that owns Armenia's electricity grid has been fined $126,000 for what state regulators in Yerevan have described as a violation of consumer rights.

The July 8 ruling against Electric Networks of Armenia (ENA) came after weeks of protests in Yerevan and other Armenian cities against a nearly 17 percent electricity price hike that is due to come into effect on August 1.

The ruling by Armenia's Public Services Regulatory Commission was linked to demands by ENA earlier in 2015 for advance payments from residents of newly built houses and apartment buildings needing acces to electricity.

Amid reports of widespread misappropriation and mismanagement by ENA's Russian leadership, many Armenians say they are the victims of Russian corruption and oligarchs.

Inter RAO UES, the Russian state-controlled electrical-energy import and export monopoly, acquired ENA in 2006.