For new President Vlad Putin...small changes...are the best changes.
In a meeting broadcast on state TV...Putin reappointed loyalists as defense, foreign and finance ministers...and 1st Deputy PM Shuvalov...to PM Medvedev's cabinet.
But Putin did remove 3 unpopular ministers: health, education and the interior.
Yet a financial crisis may yet lie ahead...as energy dependent Russia will see deficits increase...if oil prices continue their slide.
Still...Russia's GDP grew by 4.9% in Q1...nothing to sneer at...even if capital flight totaled $42 billion in just the past 4 months.
Putin says he would like to see 6% GDP growth by 2015.
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Maximum fines for organizers would surge from 50,000 rubles ($1,600)...to 1.5 million rubles ($48,000).
Ordinary protesters would face fines of 1 million rubles ($32,000).
But...the bill must be approved again...and will undergo revisions.