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U.S. bans licenses for military exports to Russia

WASHINGTON, March 27 (Reuters) - The U.S. State Department said on Thursday it imposed a ban this week on the issuance of licenses for the export of defense items and defense services to Russia in response to Russia's annexation of Crimea.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said the move followed a U.S. Commerce Department ban on the export to Russia of "dual use" items that could have military applications.

"The State Department has also placed a hold on the issuance of licenses that would authorize the export of defense articles and defense services to Russia," she told a regular news briefing.

Harf said the ban, which she believed took effect on Monday, would remain in place until further notice.

(Reporting by David Brunnstrom; Editing by Diane Craft)