Russian paratroopers during a joint Serbian-Russian military exercise near Belgrade, November 2016.
Marko Djurica / REUTERS

The future of U.S.-Russian relations seems to hinge on the answer to one question: Will U.S. President-elect Donald Trump and his nominee for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, kowtow to their friend Russian President Vladimir Putin and acquiesce to his so-called sphere of interests, or will they exploit their close relationship with the Russian leader to advance core U.S. goals?

The answer may come soon after Trump’s inauguration. Montenegro, the Balkan country that broke away from Serbia a decade ago, is the unlikely canary in the coal mine of the Trump administration’s Russia policy. 

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