The Olympic Games, declared one of this country's top leaders recently, are meant to "serve the cause of reinforcing the friendship of peoples" and Russians therefore should welcome warmly the foreign athletes and spectators coming to the 22nd Olympiad here in July, 1980.
But Viktor Grishin, Communist Party boss of Moscow and a member of the secretive, 13-man ruling Politburo in the Kremlin, has warned Soviet citizens to be on Olympic guard to "resist the propaganda of ideas and principles alien to us, (resist) attacks on our country and on the ideas of socialism and Communism."
Few statements by the leadership in recent months could better sum up the xenophobic ideological worries that color the official Soviet perception of the 1980 Olympics, which they lobbied so hard to lure here in the first place.
Having done much over the years to politicize international amateur sport at the expense of the West, the tough-talking, dour-faced men who run this country now shrink at the notion of so many foreigners, with their odd ways of thinking, walking the streets of this capital, where thought is an affair of state and party.
Not since the Berlin Olympics of 1936 have the Summer Games been so seized upon by a country's rulers to strut their way of life as a rebuke to any other political system as is the Moscow prospect.
Such a politically charged setting may well be perfectly appropriate for this Olympiad, which is the focal point for tangled international sports politics that to an outsider resemble nothing so much as a massive free-for-all wrestling match under way not only in the ring, but also the aisles and bleachers of the arena.
What happens on Olympic playing fields, where highly trained men and women match strengths and skills under seemingly inhuman pressures, has long been symbolic of struggle among nations. No one understands this better than the Soviets, for whom politics and athletics are part of the same wrestling team.
As at previous recent games, the political questions simmering for the 22nd olympiad resolve principally around racism, Red China, radio stations and Israel, with the Soviets having added something uniquely their own - repression.
What the Soviets fear most of all is a boycott by black African teams similar to the 1976 Montreal Games walkout by almost two dozen teams from black Africa in protest over a New Zealand rugby team's visit to South Africa. The fact that South Africa itself was barred from the Olympics a decade ago because of apartheid and that rugby is not a Olympic sport was considered beside the point.
As of this writing, the Soviets face a similar situation with France and perhaps with Great Britain as well. In this a South African rugby team has accepted an invitation to tour France this summer. In addition, the British Rugby Board quietly has discussed a visit by the British national team, the Lions, to South Africa at the same time as the 1980 Olympics here.
Both possible tour raise the threat of another black boycott. For the Soviets, who have closely identified themselves on the world stage with the aspirations of emerging black nations, such an act could be acutely embarrassing and likely cut television viewership in some of the very countries where the USSR hopes for major projection of its image.
At Montreal, Soviet sympathies reportedly lay with the black boycott. In this case, since such a boycott would run counter to their own aims, the Russians have engaged in pressuring the British and French to cancel the controversial tours.
The Moscow Olympics Organizing Committee publicly warned the French in April that it "would not hesitate to exclude countries that have contracts with South Africa."
Meanwhile, the Soviets, through Vitaly Smirnov, who is a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and vice president of the Moscow Organizing Committee, sought IOC pressure on France as well. But in late April, the French National and Olympic Sporting Committee rejected IOC pressures and said it would not interfere in the forthcoming South African tour.
U.S. recognition of China and derecognition of Taiwan has resulted in a complicated Oriental deadlock between Taipei and Peking over acceptable formulae for participation. The Soviets seem to be relying on the two to continue stalemated through 1980, which would relieve the Russians from having to play host to their most feared Communist adversary.
Israel, which Moscow has loathed ever since the 1967 six-day war when the Israelis defeated Egypt and the other Arab states, is guaranteed participation.
"All countries which have their National Olympic Committee have to be admitted," Smirnov said without enthusiasm recently. But it remains to be seen if Israeli tourists eager to watch their team in Moscow will find it all that easy to obtain entry visas.
The Russians also continue their efforts to bar Radio Free Europe and Radio Liberty, the United States-supported radio stations in West Germany whose broadcasts into the Soviet Union are heavily jammed.
Another boycott threat - by western nations in retaliation for Soviet repressions of human rights activists - seems to have faded.
Groups principally in France, Great Britain and the U.S. had pushed that idea with some success last summer in the aftermath of the political trials of Alexander Ginzburg, Yuri Orlov and Anatoli Scharansky. But the movement seems to have lost steam. Meanwhile, the Soviets have freed Ginzburg from a prison labor camp as part of a prisoner exchange. Many in the dissident community here feel there is a possibility that Orlov and Scharansky and some other dissidents now in labor camps or Siberian exile will be freed before the Games begin to eliminate that as a possible source of friction between the host and visiting tourists. CAPTION: Picture, Scene from '76 Innsbruck Olympics, showing Soviet scoring against Czehs, is expected to be repeated often in Moscow.