Several thousand demonstrators are rallying in the Armenian capital of Yerevan, reigniting a summer protest against electricity price hikes that marked the ex-Soviet nation's most serious unrest in years.

After a weeklong standoff in June between police and demonstrators who blocked a central avenue in Yerevan, Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan suspended the rate increase and the protests fizzled.

Protesters returned Friday night, demanding that the government annul the tariff hike. They again blocked Bagramyan Avenue and police barred them from marching further on to the presidential headquarters.

Armenia is closely allied with Russia, and its power grid is a subsidiary of a Russian electricity company. Organizers said they had no political motives but Moscow has watched the rallies with concern.