The analysis of the Baltic transition reveals the importance of external actors' participation in the process of state transformation. Based on the experiences of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, this article establishes six broad policy principles for effective external engagement. First, the nature, level, and scope of engagement directly correlates with the sustainability of transition. Second, equality in bilateral cooperation brings trust and openness among partners. Third, for a transitional state to succeed it needs sufficient external motivation to sustain it through political and economic fluctuations. Fourth, if foreign aid does not come hand in hand with adequate accountability standards, it brings corruption and stagnation. Fifth, building local (and not foreign) capacity is the primary duty of an external actor. Finally, the reputation of an external actor is as important as the work that this actor conducts. All these principles form the backbone of successful and sustainable actor-to-actor cooperation.