Poland awaiting developments in U.S. before recognising Biden

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President-elect Joe Biden holds a videoconference meeting with members of the U.S Conference of Mayors at his transition headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., November 23, 2020. REUTERS/Joshua Roberts

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland will wait to see how the political and legal situation develops in the United States before recognising Joe Biden as the new president, Foreign Minister Zbigniew Rau said on Tuesday.

Biden's victory on Nov. 3 is awkward for Warsaw's right-wing conservative government, which set great store by its relationship with Trump, securing a pledge of a permanent U.S. military deployment, while straining the tolerance of Brussels and European Union allies over its handling of democratic values.

After weeks of fruitless legal campaigns, President Donald Trump's administration on Monday cleared the way for Biden to transition to the White House, giving him access to briefings and funding, while vowing to continue fighting the result.

Poland's president has congratulated Biden on a successful campaign, but Warsaw has not officially recognised him as the next U.S. president.

Asked when he would do so, Rau noted that the Electoral College, which formally elects the president, did not meet until Dec. 14, and that legal challenges could continue until the inauguration on Jan. 20.

"It depends on the political and legal developments in the United States itself," he told public radio.

During the election campaign, Biden accused Trump of backing authoritarian leaders around the world, citing Poland among others.

(Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko and Anna Koper; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

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