Moscow State University climbed 35 places to 161st on the Times Higher Education world university rankings list for 2015-16.
MSU shares 161st place with the University of Miami in the United States, according to the ranking of 800 universities around the globe released Wednesday by the London-based magazine.
Phil Baty, the rankings editor, said Russian officials had sought to increase Russian universities' presence in the top 200, when they met with him during a conference the British magazine held in Moscow at the end of last year, Forbes reported.
But MSU is the only Russian university that made the top 200. It has made a significant advance, however, from 196th place in the Times Higher Education previous list for 2013-14.
Simon Marginson, professor of international higher education at the UCL Institute of Education, attributed an overall decline of Russia's research university in global rankings to the country's increasingly closed policies.
"Research depends on the free movement of both ideas and people, and countries that adopt a more closed stance pay the price in the end," he was quoted by the ranking as saying. "This is a prime cause of the substantial long-term declines in the global position of research in both Japan and Russia."