The article deals with the first diplomatic contacts of Rome in the Hellenistic world in 3rd century BC (before the beginning of the Second Macedonian War). The author attempts to discover if Roman Senate had common approach to its eastern policy in this period. In general the author agrees with those scholars who assert that Romans on their eastern diplomacy used the instrument (widespread in the interstate relations of the Hellenistic world) of “informal friendship” (amicitia – φιλία). However, tracing the development of the Roman relations with its “friends” in the Eastern Mediterranean, the author comes to the conclusion that from the beginning of the Illyrian Wars Roman attitude towards those states which established the amicable relations with Rome started to change. Romans more and more perceived these states as clients and expected from them services, which were usually provided by the Roman socii in Italy. The only exception from such a practice was the military alliance with Aetolia during the First Macedonian War which was determined by the extraordinary circumstances of this conflict.