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Zeldin, Blakeman call on Biden to kick out Russian diplomats from Long Island UN building

Office of the Nassau County Executive
Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman, center, and Congressman Lee Zeldin of Long Island held a news conference on Saturday, Feb. 26, outside a United Nations building in Glen Cove to urge President Joe Biden to expel Russian diplomats from the property.

This weekend, Nassau County Executive Bruce Blakeman and Congressman Lee Zeldin, both Republicans, called on the Biden administration to kick out Russian diplomats from a United Nations building in Glen Cove, Long Island. 

Blakeman called the Russian invasion of Ukraine “disgraceful” at a news conference outside the Killenworth mansion in Glen Cove that he said houses Russian diplomats. The State Department told Newsday the mansion is registered to the United Nations — not Russia.

Blakeman said kicking the Russians out would send a strong message of support to Ukraine, and would get the property back on Nassau County tax rolls.

“Do not do anything that would support the Russian economy. And Mr. President, President Biden, expel these Russians from Nassau County. We don't need them here,” Blakeman said.

Zeldin, who is running for New York governor, agreed with Blakeman.

“I agree with the County Executive that these diplomats should be expelled. I agree with him that this property, this sprawling, dozens of acre property, should be put back on the tax rolls,” Zeldin said.

International law is murky on whether the United States can remove diplomats on a United Nations mission.

In 2016, then-President Barack Obama closed a Russian compound in Upper Brookville on Long Island in retaliation for Russian interference in the presidential election.

Desiree reports on the lives of military service members, veterans, and their families for WSHU as part of the American Homefront project. Born and raised in Connecticut, she now calls Long Island home.