The European Commission has adopted a proposal to extend unilateral trade benefits to Ukraine worth nearly 500 million euros ($693 million) a year.
EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the move was "a concrete, tangible" measure of support for Ukraine after the ouster of President Viktor Yanukovych.
Once member states and the European parliament have given their approval, the decision will unilaterally remove or reduce import duties on a wide range of agricultural and other goods.
European Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht said the tax breaks would run until at least November 1 this year, by which time the European Union expects to have signed a full free-trade agreement with Ukraine.
"This unilateral system is not a substitute for the deep and comprehensive free trade-area that from the outset we have proposed to Ukraine. The EU-Ukraine complete trade deal is still the goal. In the medium and long term, only the compete trade deal will modernize Ukraine's economy, provide it with new lease of life and build the trade ties to Europe that offer a brighter economic and stable future for all Ukrainian," Gucht said.
Barroso said he hoped the measure could be implemented soon.
"I strongly hope that the full legislative process can be concluded in time before the last plenary of the Europe Parliament (April) so that the measure can be enforced before June this year," Barroso said.
De Gucht explained the proposal includes safeguards to prevent "abuse from third countries."
"So we have of course included, as I have said, certain conditions to prevent abuse from third countries. So, if Russian products would come through Crimea to Europe, of course they would be excluded. But if they are products from Crimea as such, they would benefit from cuts in tariffs," De Gucht said.
The EU has already decided to "immediately" sign the political chapters of an Association Agreement with Ukraine, while also offering Kyiv an economic aid package worth $15 billion over the next few years, amid the standoff with Russia over Crimea.
As well as seeking to prop up Ukraine's economy, the EU is seeking to apply pressure on Moscow to withdraw forces from Crimea.
The EU has already canceled negotiations with Moscow on visa cooperation and a new trade and investment pact. It is also preparing targeted sanctions including asset freezes and travel bans.