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Armenian president suspends electricity price hikes in a bid to end 6 days of protests

  • Protesters gather during a protest rally against a hike in electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, early Saturday, June  27, 2015. Dancing and singing demonstrators protesting a hike in electricity prices blocked the Armenian capital's main avenue Friday for a fifth straight day, in a tough challenge to the ex-Soviet nation's government. (Davit Abrahamyan/PAN Photo via AP)

    Protesters gather during a protest rally against a hike in electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, early Saturday, June 27, 2015. Dancing and singing demonstrators protesting a hike in electricity prices blocked the Armenian capital's main avenue Friday for a fifth straight day, in a tough challenge to the ex-Soviet nation's government. (Davit Abrahamyan/PAN Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A young protester holds a national flag during a protest rally against a hike in electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, late Friday, June 26, 2015. Dancing and singing demonstrators protesting a hike in electricity prices blocked the Armenian capital's main avenue Friday for a fifth straight day, in a tough challenge to the ex-Soviet nation's government. (Hrant Khachatryan/PAN Photo via AP)

    A young protester holds a national flag during a protest rally against a hike in electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, late Friday, June 26, 2015. Dancing and singing demonstrators protesting a hike in electricity prices blocked the Armenian capital's main avenue Friday for a fifth straight day, in a tough challenge to the ex-Soviet nation's government. (Hrant Khachatryan/PAN Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Protesters carry a huge national flag during a protest rally against a hike in electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, early Friday, June 26, 2015. Dancing and singing demonstrators protesting a hike in electricity prices blocked the Armenian capital's main avenue Friday for a fifth straight day, in a tough challenge to the ex-Soviet nation's government. (Karo Sahakyan/PAN Photo via AP)

    Protesters carry a huge national flag during a protest rally against a hike in electricity prices in Yerevan, Armenia, early Friday, June 26, 2015. Dancing and singing demonstrators protesting a hike in electricity prices blocked the Armenian capital's main avenue Friday for a fifth straight day, in a tough challenge to the ex-Soviet nation's government. (Karo Sahakyan/PAN Photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

The president of Armenia has suspended hikes in household electricity rates in an effort to end the protests that have blocked the capital's main avenue for six straight days.

President Serzh Sargsyan announced on Saturday that the government of the former Soviet nation would bear the burden of the higher electricity costs until an audit of the Russian-owned power company could be completed.

It was not yet clear whether the announcement would persuade the demonstrators to disperse.

Thousands of protesters have blocked Yerevan's main avenue since Monday, their numbers steadily increasing throughout the week. In recent days, the protest has looked more like a street party, with the mostly young demonstrators dancing and singing national songs.

Armenia is closely allied with Russia, where the protests have caused great concern.