Germany on Friday said no decision has been made yet on tanks sought by Kyiv at a crucial US-led meeting on boosting military aid to Ukraine, despite an emotional plea from President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Expectations grew ahead of the meeting at the Ramstein Air Base in Germany that Ukraine's Western allies would agree to send German-made Leopard tanks, amid mounting pressure from several European countries to do so.
But German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius told reporters on the sidelines of the event that "we still cannot say when a decision will be taken, and what the decision will be, when it comes to the Leopard tank".
He also denied accusations that Germany alone was blocking tank deliveries. The impression that "there is a united coalition and that Germany is standing in the way is wrong," he said.
Pistorius added that he has ordered a stock-take of Leopards so that action can follow quickly if the decision were to be positive for delivery.
Kyiv wants the powerful Leopard tanks to press offensives against Russian troops, but the Kremlin has warned their delivery by the West would amount to an "extremely dangerous" escalation.
Germany's hesitation so far on supplying the tanks has led to fierce criticism of Berlin from other countries such as Finland and Poland, which have their own stocks of Leopards but would need German approval to send them.
But it did not include the ATA long-range missiles sought by Ukraine.
Read more on RFI English
Under pressure to send tanks to Ukraine, Germany wants US to pitch in
'Unspeakable pain' after Ukraine's Interior Minister killed in helicopter crash
Further air attacks on Kyiv follow Russia's New Year assaults