BERLIN (AP) — A court in Germany has rejected a married couple’s request to legally change their Russian-sounding surname due to negative repercussions they said they had experienced since the start of the war in Ukraine.

The couple had sought to force officials in the southwest German state of Rhineland Palatinate to authorize the change, claiming that they and their daughter had suffered in their daily lives because of their last name.

The regional administrative court in Koblenz did not provide the couple’s surname in line with German privacy rules.

The court said Tuesday that judges dismissed the Germany-born couple’s request on the grounds that the reasons they gave for the change were insufficient.

“The fact that a family name is of foreign origin or doesn’t sound German is in itself generally not an important reason for a name change,” the court said in a statement.

It said the negative treatment the couple claimed to have experienced since the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine wasn’t serious enough to warrant the name change, noting that the family’s economic situation hadn’t been affected.

The couple can appeal the ruling.


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