The United Nations cultural agency, UNESCO, narrowly rejected Kosovo's bid for membership Monday after Kosovo failed to receive the support of two-thirds of the body's member nations.
Out of 142 votes, 92 were in favor of Kosovo's UNESCO membership, just three votes short of the 95 needed . Fifty countries voted 'no,' while 22 others abstained from voting.
The vote had been fiercely opposed by Russia and Serbia, which attempted to get it postponed earlier in the day.
Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in 2008 and has been recognized by more than 110 countries.
UNESCO membership would have unlocked millions in funds for culture and education in the impoverished former Serbian province.
Kosovo had promised that if it gained membership, it would preserve the cultural heritage of Serbs.