The Soviet Union today accused the United States of undercutting hopes for success in next month's arms talks in Geneva with "slanderous" charges of Soviet violations of past arms control agreements.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Vladimir Lomeiko said at a press briefing here that the Soviet Embassy in Washington had protested an administration report Feb. 1 accusing the Soviet Union of "a clear violation" of the 1972 antiballistic missile (ABM) treaty.
"The unsubstantiated and groundless charges in the White House 'report' have been categorically rejected," Lomeiko said in a prepared statement.
He said the timing of the report, six weeks before the start of new negotiations on weapons reductions, was designed "with the clear intent to poison from the outset the atmosphere surrounding those talks, to hamper businesslike and constructive consideration of the issues to be resolved."
The United States and the Soviet Union agreed in early January to start new arms talks, covering strategic, medium-range and space-based weapons.
Those talks are scheduled to begin March 12 in Geneva.
Although today's statement ran through a list of Soviet complaints and questions about the U.S. approach to the talks, it did not rule out prospects for progress at the bargaining table.
Lomeiko repeated that the Soviet Union is ready to seek "radical solutions" to arms control issues and concluded that "a potential for resolving these tasks exists."
But in reacting to charges of Soviet violations, Lomeiko said Washington had resorted to "unseemly tactics" and "propaganda ploys."
Lomeiko's statement did not answer Washington's charge that a new radar system under construction in central Siberia is "almost certainly" designed for ABM defense.
Instead, he charged that Washington is setting out to undermine the ABM treaty with ongoing research into a space-based Strategic Defense Initiative, known as "Star Wars."
Since the January agreement, the Soviets have made clear that preventing the development of space-based weapons is their top priority at the Geneva talks.
Recent administration statements in support of at least the research phase of the "Star Wars" program have only intensified the Soviets' concern, and stepped up their efforts to counter the Reagan administration's arguments.
The substance of today's statement already has been aired in the Soviet press, particularly in a Feb. 9 article in the Communist Party newspaper Pravda.
But as the Geneva talks approach, both Moscow and Washington have been using every occasion to get across their point of view.
"Washington can hardly fail to understand that carrying out the program of a large-scale ABM system with space-based elements would inevitably result in an uncontrolled arms race in every direction," Lomeiko said today.
"In spite of this, they stubbornly refuse to abandon the scheduled programs."
The statement also accused the United States of involving its Western European allies "in the space adventure . . . counting primarily on the support of Bonn."
Lomeiko today aired Soviet charges about U.S. violations of the SALT II treaty, which both sides say they are following although it was never ratified by the U.S. Senate.
United Press International reported from Washington that Bob Sims of the National Security Council said the United States has complied with existing arms control agreements.
Lomeiko also chastised the United States for failing to ratify the 1974 nuclear test ban treaty, one of several "deeds" sought by the Soviets last fall as they outlined their terms for improved relations.
"So far, the U.S. side has provided no articulate answer to the questions raised," said Lomeiko.
"The publication of voluminous 'reports' containing falsifications of the other side's policy cannot justify avoiding these issues."