(QHA) - Pipeline operators in Ukraine and Slovakia are on the verge of signing a deal that will allow the European Union to ship gas through Slovakia to Ukraine, reducing Kiev's dependence on Russia, the European Commission and Ukraine said, reports Euroactiv. The pipeline flow agreement could also help to bring about a historic partnership agreement between the EU and Ukraine, which both Russia and the EU are vying to tie into their respective spheres of influence. As reported, the gas would be shipped by physical reverse flow, through existing, unused pipelines, plus a small section of pipeline to be built next year. The reverse flow deal should be the climax of more than a year of talks brokered by EU Energy Commissioner Günther Oettinger.