he Soviet Union, in a series of public and private comments on recent developments in Soviet-American relations, has indicated that it will adopt a very tough stance when Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko and Secretary of State Alexander M. Haig Jr. meet in Geneva next Tuesday.
Indications here are that Moscow does not expect any improvement in relations and hopes that the one-day talks would avoid worsening of tensions.
Since their last meeting in September, there has been a further decline in relations, largely as a result of the military takeover in Poland and President Reagan's response to it.
While the September meeting included a broad review of bilateral and global issues and allowed both sides to report agreement on opening of the Geneva talks on curbing nuclear arms in Europe, the meeting next Tuesday conceivably could founder over the agenda itself.
Haig aides have said that the secretary intends to discuss "the whole range of issues but obviously would prefer to concentrate on Poland." Gromyko was quoted by Japanese sources as telling a ranking Japanese official this week that "I don't have any intentions to discuss the internal questions of Poland with foreigners."
American officials also have established a vague link between Polish repression and the resumption of strategic arms limitation talks. There is speculation in well-informed circles that the Soviets may advance a linkage of their own by tying continued U.S. political and economic pressure on Poland to potentially disruptive Soviet policies in the Middle East.
What sort of Soviet activity in the Middle East may be expected is not indicated here. But it is clear that Reagan's pressure on Poland could slow down what is called here "the process of normalization."
The Communist Party newspaper Pravda talked today about "moral weariness" among Polish workers, many of whom "shun discussion" and "seem to be hoping something will happen." Moscow repeatedly has blamed Western radio broadcasts beamed at Poland as encouraging "counterrevolutionary forces" there. Reagan's sanctions also are viewed as designed to delay Poland's economic recovery.
Apart from Poland, there are disagreements about Afghanistan, Cambodia, the Middle East, Latin America, the Far East, southern Africa, Jewish emigration from the Soviet Union and other problems.
Gromyko reportedly told Kensuke Yanagiya, counselor of the Japanese Foreign Ministry, that he intended "to tell Haig frankly what we think" of Reagan's foreign policy in general. Asked what he expected from the meeting, Gromyko said that "to predict the outcome of the talks is more difficult than forecasting tomorrow's weather."
Nevertheless, the Soviets seem prepared for an effort to continue their dialogue with Haig for at least two reasons.
One is that Haig is increasingly preceived here as the most reasonable and competent figure in an American administration composed either of hard-line anticommunist "crusaders" or persons "ignorant" of foreign affairs.
The other is that Moscow continues strenuously to promote an image of itself as a champion of arms control talks and that any break in the arms control process must be seen as having been caused by Washington, not Moscow.
Soviet officials say privately that they are convinced the United States only seeks to convey the impression to its European allies that it is interested in negotiations. The objective of Washington, these officials say, is to ease apprehension in Western Europe while simultaneously pushing military programs to meet what they call a "mythical" Soviet threat.
The main objective of Soviet policy continues to center on Soviet efforts to preserve the island of detente in Europe and to head off the scheduled deployment of 572 new U.S. medium-range nuclear missiles in Western Europe.
So far, Reagan's economic sanctions have received rhetorical support from the allies without indications that this would be followed up by practical steps.
In this context, the Kremlin has combined propaganda attacks on Reagan's "militaristic foreign policy" with expressions of readiness to renew arms control talks. This week Premier Nikolai Tikhonov expressed Moscow's interest in a dialogue with Washington.
This reflects Moscow's double-track approach. While Tikhonov as a key Kremlin figure reaffirmed Soviet commitment to detente, Gromyko and the propaganda officials of the Central Committee have assailed almost all aspects of Reagan's foreign policy.
During a recent visit by Syrian Foreign Minister Abdul Khalim Khaddam, Gromyko delivered a scathing attack on U.S. foreign policy. He said the Reagan administration has decided to embark on a new phase of the arms race, that it is creating "international conflicts and confrontations," and that it wants to achieve "military superiority."
Gromyko has been equally firm in meetings with U.S. Ambassador Arthur Hartman. Other Soviet officials told a group of U.S. congressmen visiting here recently that the United States was risking a confrontation with the Soviet Union and that "we are ready to face it."
The media barrage includes far sterner criticism of the Reagan administration. The Communist Party newspaper Pravda, in a commentary by two senior Central Committee officials, said Reagan's concern about Poland was designed to subvert detente and arms control negotiations.
The objective is to isolate the Reagan administration as the sole initiator of a confrontation with the Soviet Union and erode support for Reagan's policies in Western Europe.
While the Kremlin does not expect any major results from the Haig-Gromyko meeting, Soviet leaders continue to hope that disenchantment with the U.S. economic performance in the past year and the rise of antiwar sentiment in Western Europe and the United States eventually would limit the scope of U.S. rearmament programs and lead to some form of strategic understanding between the two superpowers.