Kevin Rudd is meeting Russian officials and will travel to Kiev, Ukraine's capital. Photo: Wayne Taylor
Former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has reportedly travelled to Moscow to meet Russian President Vladmir Putin's top officials only days after Russian incursions into Ukraine.
Mr Rudd arrived in Moscow on Monday and has asked Australian diplomats to organise a meeting with Mr Putin's foreign affairs adviser, according to reports in The West Australian.
A spokeswoman for Mr Rudd told The West Australian his trip to Moscow was planned more than a month ago and was ''not connected with recent developments in Ukraine''.
''As everybody knows, Mr Rudd is engaged in a Harvard Kennedy School Project on China's future role in the global order,'' the spokeswoman said.
''Mr Rudd is meeting with think tanks and other officials in Europe including the UK and Russia on this and broader foreign policy interests.'' She said he had also kept the government informed of his travel.
It was reported that Mr Rudd will also travel to the Ukranian capital of Kiev for a conference, however the spokeswoman for the former Labor leader later said he wouldn't be visiting Ukraine "at all".
Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he was unaware of Mr Rudd's trip to Russia until reading newspaper reports on Wednesday morning.
''He's not acting as a Labor secret agent to fix [the crisis] although Kevin is a man of remarkable talents,'' he told Channel Ten on Wednesday.
Labor's immigration spokesman Richard Marles said Mr Rudd had booked the trip to Russia some time ago.
''As we all know, Kevin is a man who wants to keep abreast of world affairs,'' he told ABC radioon Wednesday. ''I'm not sure Kevin is putting himself in the position of trying to broker peace there.''
Australians have been urged to reconsider travel to the Ukraine as the crisis with Russia escalates.
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop released the updated advice for the country on Wednesday, following the government's warning earlier in the week not to travel to the Crimea.
Ukraine's new West-leaning government has accused Russia of staging a de facto invasion by deploying troops in Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.
But Moscow insists it might be forced to protect ethnic Russians in Ukraine amid unrest following the uprising against fugitive former president Viktor Yanukovych.