The international policy of the CPSU is based on the humane nature of socialist society, which is free from exploitation and oppression and has no classes or social groups interested in unleashing war. It is inseparably linked with the basic, strategic tasks of the Party within the country and expresses the common aspiration of the Soviet people to engage in constructive work and to live in peace with all nations.

The main goals and directions of the international policy of the CPSU are:

- provision of international conditions favourable to the perfection of socialist society in the USSR and its advance to communism; removal of the threat of world war and achievement of universal security and disarmament;

- constant strengthening and expansion of cooperation between the USSR and the fraternal socialist countries and the utmost contribution to the consolidation and progress of the world socialist system;

- development of relations of equality and friendship with newly free countries;

- maintenance and development of relations between the USSR and capitalist states on a basis of peaceful coexistence and businesslike, mutually beneficial cooperation;

- internationalist solidarity with Communist and revolutionary-democratic parties, the international working-class movement and the national liberation struggle of the peoples.

The CPSU's approach to foreign-policy matters consists in firm protection of the interests of the Soviet people and resolute opposition to the aggressive policy of imperialism combined with a readiness for dialogue and constructive settlement of international problems through negotiations.

The foreign-policy course for peace elaborated by the Patty and consistently pursued by the Soviet state in combination with the strengthening of the defence capability of the country has ensured for the Soviet people and for most of tht world's population the longest period of peace in the 20th century. The CPSU will continue to do everything it can to secure peaceful conditions for the constructive work of the Soviet people, to improve international relations, and to stop the arms race that has engulfed the world, in order to avert the danger of nuclear war, which looms over all peoples.

There is no loftier or more responsible mission than that of safeguarding and strengthening peace and curbing the forces of aggression and militarism for the sake of the life of present and future generations. A world without wants and without weapons is the ideal of socialism.

I. Cooperation with Socialist Countries

The CPSU attaches primary importance to the further development and strengthening of relations of friendship between the Soviet Union and other socialist countries.

The Party is seeking long-lasting comradely relations and many-sided Coope˛ation between the USSR and all the other states or the world socialist system. The CPSU proceeds from the belief that the cohesion of the countries of socialism meets the interests of each of them and their common interests, and promotes the cause of peace and the triumph of socialist ideals.

The all-round strengthening of relations of friendship and the development and perfection of ties between the Soviet Union and the other countries of the socialist community are a matter of special concern to the Party.

The ruling Communist and Workers' parties are the motive force of these countries' all-round cooperation. To strengthen the cohesion of the Communists of the fraternal countries and to ensure mutual enrichment of the practice of guiding society, the CPSU will continue to help broaden the inter-Party links that embrace Party organisations at all levels, from Central Committees to primary Party organisations; it will promote exchanges of opinions and experience both on a bilateral and multilateral basis.

The CPSU will continue its policy of strengthening inter-state relations between the Soviet Union and other socialist countries, of affirming them in treaties and agreements, of developing contacts between the legislative bodies and between the public organisations of these countries, and of further stepping up their political cooperation in all forms.

Soviet Communists stand for the increasingly efficient intensification of the fraternal countries on the international scene with due regard for the situation and interests of each of them and for the common interests of the community.

As long as the imperialist NATO military bloc exists, the Party considers it necessary to help improve in every way possible the work of the Warsaw Treaty Organisation as an instrument of collective defence against the aggressive ambitions of imperialism and of joint struggle for a lasting peace and broader international cooperation.

In economic relations, the CPSU stands for a further deepening of socialist economic integration as the material foundation for drawing the socialist countries closer together. It attaches special importance to a consistent uniting of efforts by the fraternal countries in key areas of intensification of production and acceleration of scientific and technological progress in order to accomplish jointly a task of historical significance, namely, that of advancing to the forefront of science and technology with the aim of further improving the well-being of their peoples and strengthening their security.

The Party proceeds from the belief that integration is designed to contribute to an ever increasing extent to progress in the sphere of social production and the socialist way of life in the countries of the socialist community, to evening out more rapidly their levels of economic development and to strengthening the positions of socialism in the world.

The CPSU will actively participate in the collective work of the fraternal parties to coordinate their economic policies, to improve the mechanism of their economic cooperation and evolve new forms of cooperation, to deepen specialisation and cooperation in production, to coordinate plans, to exchange advanced experience and to develop direct links between associations and enterprises. It will help enhance the role of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and broaden economic, scientific and technical cooperation on the basis of bilateral and multilateral programs.

While considering equal and mutually beneficial economic cooperation between socialist and capitalist states to be natural and useful, the CPSU at the same time believes that the development of socialist integration should enhance the technical and economic invulnerability of the community with regard to hostile actions by imperialism and to the influence of economic crises and other negative phenomena that are intrinsic to capitalism.

In the sphere of ideology, the CPSU stands for pooling the efforts of the fraternal parties aimed at studying and using the experience in building socialism and in the communist education of working people, at developing the theory of Marxism-Leninism while deepening its creative nature and upholding its revolutionary sence. An invigoration of collective thought, a constant widening of exchanges of cultural and intellectual values, and cooperation in science and culture serve further to strengthen friendship between socialist countries.

The Party will continue to enhance awareness of the unity and common historical destinies of the fraternal peoples. Propagation of the truth about socialism, exposure of imperialist policy and propaganda, rebuffing of anti-communism and anti-Sovietism, and struggle against dogmatic and revisionist views - these are more easily accomplished when Communists act in a single front.

The CPSU regards it as its internationalist duty, together with the other fraternal parties, to consolidate the unity and increase the strength and influence of the socialist community. The outcome of the competition between socialism and capitalism and the future of world civilisation depend largely on the strength of the community, on the success of each country in its constructive endeavours, and on the purposefulness and coordination of their actions.

The experience of the development of the world socialist system shows that socialism provides every opportunity both for the society's confident advance and for the maintenance of harmonious mutual relations between countries. But neither comes of its own accord.

The levels of countries' economic and political development, their historial and cultural traditions, and the actual conditions in which they exist are different. The social development of socialist countries does not always proceed in a straight-forward manner. Every major stage of this development sets new complex tasks, whose accomplishment involves struggle, search and the overcoming of contradictions and difficulties.

All this, the CPSU is convinced, calls for utmost attention, a constructive comparison of points of view and effective solidarity so as to rule out any possibility for the rise of differences that could harm common interests. Of special importance are the coordination of actions in matters of principle, comradely interest in each other's success, strict carrying out of commitments, and a profound understanding of both national interests and common, international interests in their organic interconnection.

The formation and development of a new society are taking place in a situation of sharp confrontation between the two world systems. Seeking to weaken the positions of socialism and disrupt the mutual ties of socialist states, and primarily ties with the Soviet Union, imperialism is employing a whole range of differentiated measures - political, economic and ideological. It tries to exploit problems that arise and makes use of nationalistic sentiments for subversive purposes. The CPSU proceeds from the belief that strong unity and class solidarity among socialist countries are especially important in these conditions.

The experience of the USSR, of world socialism shows that the most important factors in its successful advance are the loyalty of the ruling Communist and Workers' parties to the doctrine of Marxism-Leninism and a creative application of that doctrine; firm links between the parties and the broad mass of working people, an enhancing of the authority of the parties and their guiding role in society, strict observance of the Leninist norms of Party and state life, and development of government by the people under socialism; a sober consideration of the actual situation, timely and scientifically substantiated solution of problems that arise; and the building of relations with other fraternal countries on the principles of socialist internationalism.

Whatever the characteristic features of each of the socialist countries, its level of economic development, size, and historical and national traditions, all of them have the same class interests. What unites the socialist countries and makes them cohesive is of paramount importance and is immeasurably greater than what may divide them.

The CPSU is convinced that the socialist countries, fully observing the principles of equality and mutual respect for one another's national interests, will continue to follow the road of ever greater mutual understanding and will draw closer together. The Party will contribute to this historically progressive process.

II. Strengthening Relations with Newly Free Countries

Formulating its policy towards former colonial and semi-colonial countries, the CPSU proceeds from the belief that the embarking of the formerly enslaved peoples on the road of independence, the emergence of dozens of new states and their increasing role in world politics and in the world economy are one of the distinctive features of the present epoch.

The newly free peoples, as Lenin foresaw, are to play a great role in the destinies of mankind as a whole. The CPSU believes that these peoples' increasing influence should promote to an ever greater extent the cause of peace and social progress.

The Party is consistently pursuing a policy of expanding contacts between the Soviet Union and the newly free countries, and regards with profound sympathy the aspirations of the peoples who had experienced the heavy and humiliating yoke of colonial slavery. The Soviet Union is building its relations with those countries on the basis of strict respect for their independence and equality, and supports the struggle of those countries against the neo-colonialist policy of imperialism, against the survivals of colonialism, and for peace and universal security.

The Party attaches great importance to solidarity and political and economic cooperation with socialist-oriented countries. Every people creates, mostly by its own efforts, the material and technical base necessary for the building of a new society, and seeks to improve the well-being and cultural standards of the masses. The Soviet Union has been doing and will continue to do all it can to render the peoples following that road assistance in economic and cultural development, in training national personnel, in strengthening their defences and in other fields.

The CPSU is developing closer relations with the revolutionary-democratic parties of newly free countries. Especially close cooperation has been established with those of them that seek to base their activities on scientific socialism. Thc CPSU stands for the development of contacts with all national progressive parties holding anti-imperialist and patriotic positions.

Relations between the Soviet Union and newly free countries have demonstrated that there also exists a realistic basis for cooperation with those young states that are following the capitalist road of development. This basis consists in a common interest in safeguarding peace, strengthening international security and ending the arms race; in a sharpening contradiction between the interests of the peoples and the imperialist policy of diktat and expansion; and in an understanding by young states of the fact that political and economic ties with the Soviet Union help to strengthen their independence.

However different the newly free countries may be from one another and whatever road they follow, their peoples share a common desire to develop independently and to run their affairs without foreign interference. The Soviet Union is in full solidarity with them. The CPSU does not doubt that it is the sacred right of the newly free countries to decide their own destinies and to choose their own type of social system.

The CPSU supports the just struggle waged by the countries of Asia, Africa and Latin America against imperialism and the oppression of transnational monopolies, for the assertion of the sovereign right to be master of one's own resources for a restructuring of international relations on an equal and democratic basis, to the establishment of a new international economic order, and for the deliverance from the burden of debt imposed by the imperialists.

The Soviet Union is on the side of the states and peoples repulsing the attack of the aggressive forces of imperialism and upholding their freedom, independence and national dignity. Solidarity with them in our time is also an important aspect of the general struggle for peace and international security. The Party regards it as its internationalist duty to support the struggle of the peoples who are still under the yoke of racism and who are victims of the system of apartheid

The CPSU regards with understanding the goals and activities of the non aligned movement and stands for an enhancement of its role in world politics. The USSR will continue to be on the side of the non-aligned states in their struggle against the forces of aggression and hegemonism and for settling disputes and conflicts that arise through negotiations, and will be opposed to the involvment of those states in military and political groupings.

The CPSU stands for the equal participation of newly free countries in international affairs and for an increase of their contribution to the solution of the most important problems of our time. The interaction of those countries with socialist states is vastly important for strengthening the independence of the peoples, improving international relations and preserving peace.

The alliance of the forces of social progress and national liberation is a guarantee of a better future for mankind.

III. Relations with Capitalist Countries. The Struggle for a Lasting Peace and Disarmament

The CPSU proceeds from the belief that the historical dispute between the two opposing social systems, into which the world is divided today, can and must be settled by peaceful means. Socialism proves its superiority not by force of arms, but by force of example in every area of the life of society - by the dynamic development of the economy, science and culture, by an improvement in the living standards of working people, and by a deepening of socialist democracy.

Soviet Communists are convinced that the future belongs to socialism. Every people deserves to live in a society that is free from social and national oppression, in a society of genuine equality and genuine democracy. It is the sovereign right of an oppressed and exploited people to free itself from exploitation and injustice. Revolutions are a natural outcome of social development, of class struggle in every given country. The CPSU believed and continues to believe that the "export" of revolution, the imposition of revolution on anyone from the outside, is unacceptable in principle. But the "export" of counterrevolution in any form, too, is a gross encroachment on the free expression of will by the peoples, on their right independently to choose their way of development. The Soviet Union is strongly opposed to attempts forcibly to check and reverse the march of history.

The interests of the peoples demand that inter-state relations be directed onto a path of peaceful competition and equal cooperation.

The Communist Party of the Soviet Union firmly and consistently upholds the Leninist principle of peaceful coexistence of states with different social systems. The policy of peaceful coexistence as understood by the CPSU presupposes: renunciation of war and the use or threat of force as a means of settling disputed issues, and the settlement of such issues through negotiations; non-interference in internal affairs and respect for the legitimate interests of each other; the right of the peoples independently to decide their destinies; strict respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states and the inviolability of their borders; cooperation on the basis of complete equality and mutual benefit; fulfilment in good faith of commitments arising from generally recognised principles and norms of international law and from international treaties concluded.

These are the basic principles on which the Soviet Union builds its relations with capitalist states. They have been affirmed in the Constitution of the USSR.

The CPSU will purposefully help to bring about a universal affirmation in international relations of the principle of peaceful coexistence as a generally recognised norm of inter-state relations that will be observed by everyone. It believes that the extention of ideological differences between the two systems to the sphere of inter-state relations is inadmissible.

The Party will work for the development of the process of international detente, regarding it as a natural and essential stage on the road to the establishment of a comprehensive and reliable security system. The experience of cooperation shows that there is a real prospect for this. The CPSU stands for the creation and use of international mechanisms and institutions that would make it possible to find optimal correlations between national, state interests and the common interests of mankind. It stands for enhancing the role of the United Nations in strengthening peace and developing international cooperation.

The nuclear powers bear a special responsibility for the situation in the world. The states possessing nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction must renounce the use of or threat to use such weapons and refrain from steps that would lead to an aggravation of the international situation.

The CPSU stands for normal and stable relations between the Soviet Union and the United States of America, which presupposes non-interference in internal affairs, respect for each other's legitimate interests, recognition and practical implementation of the principle of equality and equal security, and the building of the greatest possible mutual trust on this basis. Differences between social systems and ideologies should not lead to strained relations. There are objective prerequisites for the development of fruitful and mutually beneficial Soviet-US cooperation in various fields. It is the conviction of the CPSU that the policies of both powers should be oriented to mutual understanding rather than hostility which is fraught with the threat of catastrophic consequences for the Soviet and American people as well as for other nations.

The Party is convinced that all states, big and small, regardless of their potentials, geographic location, and social systems, can and must participate in the search for solutions to acute problems, in the normalisation of conflict situations, and in carrying out measures to ease tensions and curb the arms race.

The CPSU attaches great importance to the further development of peaceful, good-neighbourly relations and cooperation between European states. An indispensable condition for the stability of positive processes in this region, as in other regions, is respect for the territorial and political realities which emerged as a result of the Second World War. The CPSU is strongly opposed to attempts to revise them under any pretext whatsoever and will combat any manifestation of revanchism.

The Party will make consistent efforts to ensure that the process of strengthening security, trust and peaceful cooperation in Europe, which was launched on the initiative and with the active participation of the Soviet Uaion, develops and deepens, and comes to embrace the whole world. The CPSU stands for the pooling of efforts by all interested states for the purpose of ensuring security in Asia and for carrying out a joint search by them for a constructive solution to the problem. Asia, Africa, Latin America, the Pacific and the Indian Oceans can and must become zones of peace and good-neighbourliness.

The CPSU stands for the development of extensive longterm and stable contacts between states in the sphere of the economy, science, and technology on the basis of complete equality and mutual benefit. Foreign economic cooperation is of great political importance, for it helps to strengthen peace and relations of peaceful coexistence between states with different social systems. The Soviet Union rejects all forms of discrimination and the use of trade, economic, scientific and technical contacts as a means of exerting pressure, and will work to ensure the economic security of states.

The CPSU stands for broad mutual exchanges of genuine cultural values between all countries. Such exchanges should serve humanitairian goals, namely, the cultural and intellectual enrichment of the peoples and the consolidation of peace and good- neighbourliness. The Soviet state will cooperate with other countries in solving the global problems that have become especially acute in the second half of the 20th century and that are of vital significance to the whole of mankind. These include: environmental protection, energy, raw materials, food and demographic problems, peaceful exploration of outer space and the resources of the World Ocean, the overcoming of the economic backwardness of many newly free countries, the eradication of dangerous diseases, and other problems. The solution of these problems calls for joint efforts by all states. It will be much easier to solve these problems if the squandering of efforts and resources on the arms race is stopped.

In the interests of mankind and for the benefit of all nations, the CPSU and the Soviet state stand for an extensive and constructive program of measures aimed at ending the arms race, achieving disarmament, and ensuring peace and security.

The CPSU, which considers general and complete disarmament under strict and comprehensive international control to be a historic task and is carrying out efforts to achieve it, shall consistently be working for:

- restriction and narrowing of the sphere of military preparations, especially those involving weapons of mass destruction. First and foremost, outer space should be totally excluded from that sphere so that it will not become the scene of military rivalry and a source of death and destruction. Exploration and development of outer space should be for peaceful purposes only, for the development of science and production, in accordance with the needs of all nations. The USSR stands for collective efforts in the solution of this problem and will actively participate in international cooperation to this end. The Soviet Union will also call for the adoption of measures promoting the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and the establishment of zones free from these and other weapons of mass destruction;

- the complete elimination of nuclear armaments to be carried out stage by stage till the end of the 20th century by means of discontinuing the testing and production of all types of these armaments, renouncing the first use of nuclear weapons by all the nuclear powers, and freezing, reducing and destroying all their stockpiles:

- an end to the production of other types of weapons of mass destruction, including chemical weapons, their elimination, and a ban on the development of new types of such weapons:

- reductions in the armed forces of states, first and foremost those which are permanent members of the UN Security Council and countries that have military agreements with them; limitations on conventional armaments; an end to the development of new types of these armaments whose yield approximates that of mass destruction weapons, and reductions in military spending;

- a freeze on, and reductions in, the number of troops and armaments in the most explosive parts of the world, the dismantling of military bases on foreign territory, and measures to build up mutual trust and lessen the risk of armed conflicts, including those that might occur by accident.

The CPSU stands for overcoming the division of the world into military-political groupings. The CPSU is for the simultaneous dissolution of NATO and the Warsaw Treaty Organisation, or, as a first step, the disbandment of their military organisations. To lower confrontation between the military blocs, the Soviet Union advocates the conclusion of a treaty between them on the mutual non-use of force and the maintenance of relations of peace, a treaty which would be open to all other states as well.

The Party will make every effort to ensure that questions of arms limitation and averting the threat of war are tackled through honest and strictly observed agreements on the basis of equality and equal security of the sides, in order to preclude any attempt to conduct talks from a "position of strength" and use them to cover up an arms buildup.

The Soviet state and its allies do not seek military superiority, but at the same time they will not permit an upset in the military-strategic equilibrium that has taken shape in the world arena. Furthermore, they are consistenty working to ensure that the level of this equilibrium is steadily lowered, the quantity of armaments on both sides reduced, and the security of all peoples guaranteed.

The CPSU solemnly declares: there are no weapons that the Soviet Union would not be prepared to limit or ban on a reciprocal basis with effective verification.

The USSR does not encroach on the security of any country, West or East. It threatens no one and does not seek confrontation with any state: it wishes to live in peace with all countries. The Soviet socialist state has been bearing high the banner of peace and friendship among peoples since the Great October Revolution. The CPSU shall remain loyal to this Leninist banner.

IV. The CPSU in the International Working-Class and Communist Movement

The CPSU is a component part of the international communist movement. It regards its efforts to perfect socialist society and advance onward to communism as a major internationalist task, the accomplishment of which serves the interests of the world socialist system, the international working class, and mankind as a whole.

Communists, having always been the most consistent fighters against social and national oppression, are today also in the forefront of the struggle for the preservation of peace on earth and for people's right to life. They know well wherein lie the causes of the threat of war, expose those who are responsible for the aggravation of international tension and the arms race, and strive to develop cooperation with all those capable of making a contribution to the anti-war effort.

The CPSU takes into consideration the fact that Communist and Workers' parties in the non-socialist world are functioning in a complex and controversial situation. The range of the circumstances and forms of their struggle is quite broad. However, this expands rather than limits the opportunities available to the movement. The diversity of forms of activity practised by Communists enables them to take better account of specific national conditions and concrete historical circumstances, and of the interests of different social groups and strata of the population.

The CPSU proceeds from the conviction that the Communists in each country independently analyse and evaluate situations and determine their strategic course, policies and means of struggle for the immediate and ultimate goals, for communist ideals. The experience accumulated by the Communist panics is a valuable internationalist asset.

The CPSU thoroughly studies the problems and experience of foreign Communist parties. It regards with understanding their desire to improve their strategy and tactics, to seek broader class alliances on a platform of anti-monopolistic, anti-war activity, and to uphold the economic interests and political rights of working people, proceeding from the conviction that the struggle for democracy is a component part of the struggle for socialism.

The imperialist circles in different countries are closely coordinating their efforts aimed against socialism and all the democratic forces and are trying to set Communist parties against one another. In these conditions proletarian internationalism and comradely solidarity among Communists are assuming ever greater importance.

The CPSU believes that disagreement over individual issues should not interfere with international cooperation among Communist parties and their concerted efforts.

In cases when divergences of views on individual problems arise hetween fraternal parties, the CPSU considers it useful to hold comradely discussions to achieve better understanding of each other's views and reach mutually acceptable appraisals. But when the issue at hand is the revolutionary essence of Marxism-Leninism, the substance and role of real socialism, the CPSU will continue to uphold positions of principle. This also determines the CPSU's attitude to all attempts to destroy the class essence of the Communists' activity and distort the revolutionary mature of the aims and means of struggle for attaining them. Experience has shown that any departure from the fundamental propositions of the teaching of Marx, Engels, and Lenin weakens the potentials of the communist movement.

In its relations with the fraternal parties, the CPSU firmly adheres to the principle of proletarian internationalism, which organically combines revolutionary solidarity with the recognition of the full independence and equality of each party. On the basis of this principle, the CPSU is actively developing its ties with the Communist and Workers' parties, exchanging information, and participating in bilateral and multilateral meetings and regional and broader international conferences held as the need arises.

Soviet Communists always side with their class comrades in the capitalist world. The CPSU will use its international prestige to defend Communists who fall victim to the arbitrary rule of reactionaries. It has a high regard for the solidarity of the fraternal parties and for their struggle against anti-Sovietism. The mutual support of the Communist and Workers' parties in the socialist and non-socialist countries is an important factor for social progress.

The CPSU will continue its policy of developing ties with socialist, social-democratic, and labour parties. Cooperation with them can play a significant role, first and foremost, in the effort to prevent nuclear war. However great the divergences between various trends of the workingclass movement might be, they present no obstacle to a fruitful and systematic exchange of views, parallel or joint actions to remove the threat of war, improve the international situation, eliminate the vestiges of colonialism, and uphold the interests and rights of the working people.

The Party attaches great signinicance to stimulating cooperation among all contingents of the international working-class movement and expanding interaction between trade unions of diverse trends and youth, women's, peasant and other democratic organisations in various countries.

Being fully aware of its historical responsibility to the world's working class and its communist vanguard, the CPSU will continue to work in the following directions:

- to uphold the revolutionary ideals and the fundamentals of Marxism-Leninism in the world communist movement, creatively develop the theory of scientific socialism, consistently fight against dogmatism and revisionism, against all the influences of bourgeois ideology on the working-class movement;

- to do its utmost to promote cohesion and cooperation among fraternal parties and the international solidarity of Communists and to increase the communist movement's contribution to the cause of preventing world war;

- to pursue a consistent policy aimed at achieving unity of action in the international working-class movement, among all working people in the struggle for their common interests, for a lasting peace and the security of peoples, for national independence, democracy, and socialism.


Published 1998 by EURODOS, Amsterdam, The Netherlands