The concept of “diplomacy” combines the foreign policy activities of state leaders and supreme authorities. At various stages of the development of society the methods and means of diplomacy changed. In the Middle Ages the protocol is the rules of paperwork and archiving. Subsequently ceremonial issues began to be attributed to the diplomatic protocol. Currently the diplomatic protocol is a set of generally accepted norms, traditions and conventions that are observed in international communication. The purpose of the study is to analyze the evolution of the Soviet protocol as an instrument of the state’s foreign policy based on the analysis of regulatory documents. The novelty of the study lies in the fact that the author considers the diplomatic legal culture as a component of the image of the state, in which ideology influenced all aspects of society, including the rules of communication between a Soviet citizen and foreign partners. It was revealed that the employees of the Protocol Department of the People’s Commissariat for Foreign Affairs (PCFA), and primarily its head D.T. Florinsky (repressed in 1934) and V.N. Barkov (repressed in 1941, rehabilitated in 1958), were able to “reconcile”, as evidenced by regulatory documents, the European diplomatic protocol with the norms of Soviet ideology. Through its work the Protocol Department tried to destroy the idea of the USSR as an “empire of evil”; it was part of the positive image of the USSR, like the Bolshoi Theater, Soviet sports and Russian literature. As an actor in world politics the Soviet Union could not but accept the main provisions of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations. Ignoring the international norms of the protocol is a denial of equality, sovereignty, territorial integrity of the state, and as a result, loss of reputation in the eyes of the world community.