The article deals with the study of the issue of diplomatic counterculture the definition of which the author introduces into scientific use. The breach of protocol takes place either due to its ignorance, which is non-typical for professional politicians, or for a public demonstration of zero tolerance to particular political objectives. In this context, the meeting of the Polish charge d’affaires with a representative of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs (NKID) in Moscow dated February 1, 1995 is of special interest. The latter demanded from the diplomat to comment behavior of some members of the diplomatic corps, who didn’t stand up when signing the Internationale (anthem in that period) during one of the official events. Another NKID’s complaint against the diplomatic corps concerned the reluctance of diplomats to stand up for greeting the Soviet vozhds (leaders), including J.V. Stalin who didn’t hold any official leadership post in the system of the Soviet state. In the author’s opinion, J.V. Stalin was one among Soviet politicians of the most sophisticated improvisers, professionally manipulating the norms of diplomatic protocol and etiquette. In 1939, J. Ribbentrop had talked about vozhd as a man with extraordinary power. Stalin managed to daze Minister of Foreign Affairs of German and, in August 1942, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom W. Churchill marked Stalin’s hospitality at a dinner in the Kremlin and offered to drink to his health. It has been found that one of the blatant cases of diplomatic counterculture is the conduct of N.S. Khrushchev during the meeting at the United Nations General Assembly in 1960. “Shoe diplomacy” didn’t raise the credibility of the Soviet leader in the minds of the global community. The ignorance of protocol rules may lead to the loss of the reputation of a government leader, and as a consequence, negatively affect the country’s image, its attractiveness, which is a hallmark of the “softpower” of the state.
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