The article analyses the perception of the mid-to-late nineteenthcentury Russian liberals of the West European states and their foreign policy of the time towards Russia. The article discloses the main features and differences in assessing the West and Russia as its part. It allows to reveal such features in Russian liberalism as common provisions and values typical of world liberal theory and a number of special features which resulted in developing different schools of liberal movement in Russia. The article underlines that the range of liberal ideas varied from selective borrowing of some elements of the western political system to their complete adaptation in Russia. The article focuses on the opinion of a number of national-oriented Russian liberals of the time who put forward a priority task to modernize the country, to implement liberal reforms, but not to strengthen its foreign policy power which, according to them, prevents improving well-being of the people and social stabilization. The study allows to define a main vector of the ideological pursuit of the Russian liberals, the part of whom tried to enroot the liberal ideas in the backward peasant country. © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.