Alexander Pikayev, our colleague and friend of many years, has passed away.
Pikayev was a member of the Carnegie Moscow Center Research Council for many years, combining his work with us with his scholarly activities at the Center for International Security at the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of World Economy and International Relations (IMEMO), where he worked his entire life after graduating from Moscow State University. Over the course of the many years during which Pikayev headed the Carnegie Moscow Center’s program on international security and nuclear nonproliferation, he was the driving force behind a number of important international projects in the field of nonproliferation and regularly led conferences and seminars.
In the month leading up to his unexpected death, on his 48th birthday, Alexander came to one of the Carnegie Moscow Center’s seminars, where he rightly felt himself at home, and spoke at length about his impressions of the latest international conference on the Iranian nuclear program. He was unique, a specialist everywhere in great demand, and was an indefatigable traveler, voyaging to the most far-flung parts of the globe. He knew how to plan his life in such a way that, without commotion and undo haste, he managed to accomplish a colossal amount. Among other things, he published articles in the most important international publishing houses, as well as books such as the SIPRI Yearbook “Armaments, Disarmament and International Security,” where Alexander was the research editor of the Russian edition, and the IMEMO Yearbook “Disarmament and Security,” where he led the team of contributors. Alexander presented at all the leading venues of the world and commented on a wide range of questions for the media.
His observations and evaluations were precise, often cutting, and always very interesting. Ever the life of the party, Alexander, with a cool, often even dark look, offered the wittiest jokes and observations, drawing a laugh from his listeners. A superb orator and polemicist, in scholarly discussions he was always principled, at times harsh, and never hostage to the prevailing opinion of the day.
It is difficult to accept that Alexander is no longer with us.