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Russia to confiscate retail accounts if sanctions go inaccessible, as per the official

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Sberbank, Russia's largest bank, has refused to make a reportedly misleading statement about being listed on the US sanctions list on Thursday.

Retail consumers could lose their funds if severe Western sanctions are imposed as Russian troops conquer Ukraine.

According to Nikolai Arefiev, a member of the country's Communist Party and vice-chairman of the Duma's economic policy committee, Russians' funds could be seized in reaction to sanctions imposed on the country.

If Western nations choose to restrict all of Russia's foreign funds, Arefiev stated in an interview with the local news service on Monday that the Russian government can confiscate around 60 trillion rubles ($750 billion) in deposits.

“If all the foreign funds are blocked, the government will have no other choice but to seize all the deposits of the population, or 60 trillion rubles in order to solve the situation,” the official said, adding that Russia has more than $640 billion in gold and foreign exchange reserves held abroad.

He also indicated that prospective sanctions against Russia provide a potential cut off from SWIFT and restrictions on foreign exchange.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has publicly declared a special military campaign in Ukraine, likely triggering a series of penalties against Russia's top banks, including state-owned Sberbank and VTB.

As per local reports, Sberbank published a false statement on Thursday night about being listed on the US sanctions list, but later withdrew the notice, stating that the remark was false and prompted by a "website crash."

Sberbank's website currently states that Sberbank and all of its services are operating as usual and that users and legal organizations have full accessibility to their funds and services.

“We are ready for any development of the situation and have worked out scenarios to guarantee the protection of the funds, assets and interests of our clients, as well as to ensure the regular operation of all our functions,” the alert reads.

On Thursday, Russia's Foreign Ministry stated that it will reply to any proposed Western sanctions, saying, “Make no mistake, we will respond strongly to these sanctions, not necessarily in a symmetrical manner, but the response will be well calibrated and will not fail to affect the United States.”

According to Balaji Srinivasan, a crypto investor and former Coinbase chief technology officer, the ministry is predicting cyberwarfare with the West.

The recent report broke as the Russian ruble dropped to an all-time low against the US dollar, with indexes jumping up to 115 rubles or more per US dollar for individuals trying to purchase dollars on the marketplace, up 35% from 74 rubles only a few weeks ago. According to local media, Sberbank was providing its customers with the opportunity to purchase dollars for 100 rubles on Thursday.

According to data, the new events have had a major influence on the Russian stock market and crypto markets, with Bitcoin (BTC) temporarily falling below $35,000 for the very first time since June 2021.

During the first time since August of last year, global market capitalization dropped below $1.7 trillion.

The enormous sell-off in crypto and stock markets, as per Sam Bankman-Fried, CEO of FTX crypto exchange, is "to pay for war."

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