Britain has reportedly offered Germany a swap of cruise missiles that could allow the government in Berlin a way to overcome concerns over a suggested arms delivery to Ukraine.
Kyiv has been pushing Berlin to supply its Taurus missiles, which could give Ukraine the ability to cause significant damage deeper within Russian-occupied territory, but the German government has remained hesitant because of concerns it could trigger an international escalation of the conflict.
Handelsblatt, a German newspaper, cited government and diplomatic sources as saying that the British government had proposed to Berlin several weeks ago that it could export Storm Shadow cruise missiles to Ukraine and, in turn, receive the German Taurus missiles.
The office of Olaf Scholz, the German chancellor, has been analysing the proposal, the report added.
The German government declined to comment.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said the UK and its partners, including Germany, continued to work together to equip Ukraine so that it could defend its territory.
The alleged disclosure of the British proposal is likely to cause further embarrassment for Mr Scholz, who has been extremely reluctant to send Taurus missiles to Ukraine for fear of prompting retaliation from Russia.
Mr Scholz is concerned that the Taurus missiles, which have a range of 310 miles, could be used to strike Moscow in a potentially major escalation of the war.
However, British Storm Shadow missiles can only travel 155 miles, putting Moscow beyond their reach. They have already been used several times by Ukrainian forces, including in a recent attack on the headquarters of the Black Sea Fleet on the annexed Crimean peninsula.
For Mr Scholz, this could prove to be a less provocative move by Germany which would still allow him to save face by providing indirect military support to Ukraine.
A person familiar with the negotiations said the proposed swap could potentially find support in Berlin.
The German government has repeatedly said it will only act in concert with Washington on arms deliveries to Ukraine.