Would "Navalny sanctions" be effective?
A magic wand with limited impact
Novaya Gazeta is sceptical about how effective support for Navalny's activities by EU institutions would be:
“If the proposal is even partially implemented, it will change the rules within Russia and Navalny's status. So far, the FBK's investigations [Navalny's Anti-Corruption Foundation] have just been bluster as far as the Russian elite is concerned. They have had no consequences. Now this could change radically: Navalny will be given a magic wand with which he can turn a Miami penthouse or a Tuscan vineyard into a pumpkin in one fell swoop. But this process is unlikely to be irreversible. ... The background actors in the research will always be able to prove that the money is clean and legal because it was inherited from grandma, grandpa or the cat.”
Where are the evil Russians' villas?
Radio Kommersant FM suggests that the EU Parliament should take the opportunity to clean up its own mess:
“Dear democratic, incorruptible MEPs! Navalny has been publishing the results of his research for ten years. And each time he tells us about the beautiful houses and smart flats of his protagonists. And where are they located? In your countries, in the heart of Europe: in Monaco, Nice, Paris. Where have you looked so far? Why hasn't it scared any of you that your neighbour could be an evil, corrupt Russian? If you're going to start freezing accounts, then why don't you check out the European partners of these Russians as well? Who do they do business with, and where do they invest their 'dirty' capital? This will no doubt produce a lot of interesting results.”