Germany is still a week or two away from making a decision on whether to send Ukraine long-range Taurus cruise missiles, Defence Minister Boris Pistorius said on Friday.
Kiev has long demanded the German missiles, which have a range of about 500 kilometres, saying they are needed to hit Russian positions and boost the chances of its counteroffensive.
Chancellor Olaf Scholz however has so far held off amid fears by Kiev's Western allies that such weapons could hit Russian territory and escalate the war.
"If it now takes another week or two until a decision is made, then that's the way it is," Pistorius said on Friday at conference in the German city of Münster.
The minister added that this did not mean any hesitation on the part of Berlin, only that the federal government was weighing the consequences.
"Germany must show this level of prudence, even if it is difficult for our Ukrainian friends to understand."
He called the Taurus a "highly complex industrial product.
"We’re not talking about programming a coffee machine here."
Germany has "about 500" of the missiles, with about half needing some form of repair, update or reprogramming, he said.
Shortly after Pistorius made his remarks, the government in Berlin emphasized that no decision would be made in the coming days.
"I can't see any movement on that," government spokesman Steffen Hebestreit said of the issue.