most of my neighbours are xenophobic isolationists, so they're content to not communicate with me at all.
The exception is a xenophobic molluscoid race, with whom I've fought several wars.
They don't exactly make friends. As far as I can tell, right now, they're at war with everyone, except the fallen empires.
Initially their navy was considered superior in capacity, power, and technology. However, due to them not committing their full force, due to being at war against everyone else, we won the first wars, liberating some of their planets into an independent state.
The last war, a bunch of allies also liberated some of the planets, into a different independent state.
Now, the mollusc navy is considered inferior in capacity, pathetic in power, albeit still superior in technology.