This article is devoted to an analysis of the Soviet doctrines of foreign policy, international law and relations. It is claimed that Soviet international law was based on two conflicting ideas – the idea of universal peace and the idea of world revolution. These ideas were reflected in two conflicting principles of Soviet international law – the principle of peaceful coexistence and the principle of socialist internationalism. Throughout its history the ussr was balancing between these ideas and principles depending on its internal and external interests and the current political situation, moving its foreign policy from the first principle to the second one, and vice versa. The article divides the history of Soviet foreign policy into five major stages – the foreign policy of Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev and Gorbachev – to analyse each of these stages in turn.