MOSCOW — President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia undertook a whirlwind tour to his new allies in the Middle East on Monday, underscoring the extension of Russia’s influence in the region and the continuing shrinkage of the United States’ role.
Mr. Putin touched down in rapid succession in Syria and Egypt, where he met briefly with their leaders, and landed in Ankara, the capital of Turkey, later in the day.
His excursion came as anger at the United States was running high over President Trump’s unilateral decision to recognize Jerusalem, the third holiest city in Islam, as the capital of Israel. That decision has helped isolate the United States and Israel, angering allies in Europe and the Arab world while helping to convince the Arab public that the United States is solidly anti-Muslim.
In Brussels on Monday, for example, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel was firmly rebuffed when he encouraged the European Union to “recognize the facts” and endorse Mr. Trump’s action.
Mr. Putin’s trip had domestic implications as well, showcasing his role as a global statesman just as he embarks on a campaign for another presidential term, his fifth and possibly last.
At each stop, there was some accomplishment or friendship to trumpet.
In a brief visit to a Russian air base in Syria, where he was greeted by President Bashar al-Assad, Mr. Putin again said that Russia’s military had achieved its mission and would head home, a pledge he first made in March 2016 and has broken repeatedly in the past.
In Egypt, Mr. Putin and President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi discussed several issues that reflected Moscow’s expanding role. They confirmed at a news conference that Russia had agreed to resume direct tourist flights to Egypt, suspended after the bombing of a Russian airliner in the Sinai Peninsula in 2015, which could restore billions of dollars in revenue. And they appeared to confirm the signing of a contract for Russia to build a $30 billion nuclear plant, Egypt’s first. Late last month, the two countries were reported to be exploring an agreement for the Russian air force to use Egyptian military bases.
The trip to Turkey was the last scheduled for the day, with the agenda focused on political talks to end the war in Syria and the sale of an advanced Russian S-400 air missile defense system to Turkey. Russia has in the past refused such a sale, but President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey said at a joint news conference on Monday that the two countries would this week “come together to conclude necessary work for S-400.”
The session was the eighth time Mr. Putin and Mr. Erdogan have met this year, and lately they have been getting together every two weeks.
Russia has taken full advantage of the American reluctance to engage in various Middle East conflicts, especially Syria, to reconstruct relations with various capitals like Cairo, which expelled the Soviets in the early 1970s after years of close military cooperation.
Although Mr. Putin is assured of victory in the 2018 presidential election in March, he is seeking a record turnout and a record level of support, according to reports in the Russian news media.
To do that, he needs both to generate excitement in a lackluster campaign and to at least appear focused on domestic issues, according to various analysts, even if he personally seems far more animated when discussing foreign policy than fixing roads. Hence, he wants to significantly reduce the Russian role in Syria before campaigning begins in earnest in February.