[npm] NPM_TOKEN isn't read anymore by NPM 7.x? Then how to pass it the token?

I was pointed here from the npm official support pages. But I don’t see even a category about NPM here. Ok, I’ve explained it.

I try to configure CI to publish an npm package in a private NPM repo.
The problem is that NPM doesn’t seem to read NPM_TOKEN env variable and I cannot find a way how to seed it one via command line.