The International Energy Agency announced that exports of Russian natural gas via pipelines to the European Union and the United Kingdom fell by nearly 40% during the first seven months of this year, compared to the same period in 2021.

The agency added, quoting data from Refinitiv Icon, that natural gas exports from Russia to Europe decreased by 50% compared to the period between 2017 and 2021.

The agency indicated that Russian exports of natural gas fell to 1.2 billion cubic feet per day in mid-July, the lowest level in nearly 40 years.

Russia exports its natural gas to the European Union and the United Kingdom through 3 main pipelines, which represent about 16 billion cubic feet per day of export pipeline capacity, according to data from the Russian oil giant, Gazprom.

The Nord Stream-1 pipeline is one of the pipelines that pass through the Baltic Sea to Germany, the Netherlands, France, the United Kingdom and other European countries.

The other two pipelines pass through Belarus to Poland and Germany, and through Ukraine to the Czech Republic and Austria, which transport natural gas to countries in northern and southern Europe.

Russian natural gas exports via pipelines to the European Union and the United Kingdom have been declining since 2020, initially due to lower demand caused by the coronavirus in Europe.

The largest drop in Russian exports to Germany was via the Nord Stream-1 pipeline, as exports fell through it to 1.4 billion cubic feet per day last July, or only 20% of its actual capacity of 5.6 billion cubic feet per day.

In another context, the company "Transneft" reported today, Tuesday, in a statement that all oil shipments that pass through the Druzhba pipeline - which delivers oil to Hungary - have stopped since the fourth of August.

Despite the Russian military attack on Ukraine since last February 24, the transport of Russian oil and gas continues to the European Union through Ukraine, in light of the dependence of many members of the Union on Russian hydrocarbons.

In June, the European Union adopted a gradual embargo on Russian oil, expecting to stop imports of crude oil by ship within 6 months.

Supplying through the Druzhba pipeline was allowed to continue "temporarily" without setting a deadline, in a settlement obtained by Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who maintains good relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, and whose country depends on cheap Russian oil for 65 percent of its consumption.

The Druzhba pipeline crosses Ukraine and serves 3 European countries that do not have access to the sea, namely Hungary, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.

While the company confirmed in its statement that the export of oil to Poland and Germany through another branch of the Druzhba pipeline that passes through Belarus continues normally.

Since the beginning of the war on Ukraine, European countries have been seeking to reduce their dependence on Russian energy, accusing Moscow of using its hydrocarbon exports as a "weapon of war."