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Ringing the Changes

It has been noted that the only salient agreement that seemed to emerge from the much-publicized meeting between Russian Foreign Secretary Sergei Lavrov and British counterpart William Hague was the news that a telephone hotline would be established, to, as logic would dictate, ease communication between the Kremlin and Downing Street.  (It would seem that shouting across the continent has proved ineffectual.)  Given that said apparatus has existed since the Cold War days of tundrous British-Russian relations, it is hardly, as Simon Hoggart points out in the Guardian, a way to see bilateral cooperation leap into the 21st century.  The Kremlin’s fondness for telecommunicatory band aids was also evinced today by the news of the Public Chamber’s plans to create a new ‘corruption hotline,’ which victims of graft can ring once they have been divested of their spare change.  Calls are apparently free. But of course, if you want to get to the front of the queue…