The United Nations General Assembly Tuesday overwhelmingly called for an end to the U.S. economic embargo against Cuba that was imposed over 40 years ago.

A resolution was adopted 173 in favor to three against, with the United States, Israel and the Marshall Islands casting the only dissenting votes.

Many governments described the U.S. embargo as out of step with the times. The Russians called it a relic of the Cold War and urged Washington to move toward dialogue with Cuba.

The Europeans objected to U.S. penalties on companies in third countries doing business with Cuba, saying the embargo is a bilateral issue between the United States and Cuba and should not be imposed on others.

A U.S. representative noted the recent easing of commercial restrictions on Cuba, including the sale of U.S. agricultural products to Cuba over the past year. At the same time, the Bush administration signaled there would be no significant change in U.S. policy as long as Fidel Castro continues denying his people basic human rights and repressing dissent.

This was the 11th General Assembly resolution since 1992 calling for an end to the U.S. embargo. Assembly resolutions, unlike those of the Security Council, are not binding, but they are considered an important barometer of world opinion.